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REVEALED:THE SEVEN ON H'BORO FILES PANEL; Team of experts to scrutinise documents: EXCLUSIVE.


THE ECHO can today exclusively reveal the seven people sitting on the Hillsborough tragedy files panel.

Their closely-guarded identities were to be unveiled this morning by ministers at the House of Commons.

The seven people cover a range of disciplines from police, health, archiving and media including three people with strong links to Liverpool.

The panel are:. Phil Scraton, professor of criminology at Queen's University, Belfast, and writer of the acclaimed The Truth book on the 1989 disaster. Formerly based at Edge Hill.

. Katy Jones, TV producer and factual producer on Jimmy McGovern's drama documentary, "Hillsborough".

. Liverpool-born newsreader, journalist and former host of the Question Time show Peter Sissons.. Paul Leighton CBE, former Deputy Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

. Dr Bill Kirkup, CBE, formerly associate medical director, Department of Health.

. Christine Gifford, member of the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Council on Public Sector Information.. Sarah Tyacke, former chief executive of the National Archives and Keeper of the Public Records Today's announcement officially sets in motion the process of scrutinising millions of secret documents, chaired by the Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Revd James Jones.

Westminster chiefs are said to be very pleased with the panel's make-up as many of those appointed are considered leaders in their fields.

The sudden widening of the panel, from five to seven, is a surprise to many observers.

But the Government is understood to have rubber-stamped the change to obtain a more comprehensive breadth of expertise.

Until today the names of the panel have been a well-kept secret.

They will have to remain available until 2012 and some may take temporary sabbaticals from their current employment.

The families of the 96 Reds fans who died following the Sheffield semi-final are understood to be satisfied with the choices.

Peter Sissons, 67, attended Dovedale Road Primary School and is a Liverpool John Moores University Honorary Fellow.

And TV producer Katy Jones was integral in helping city scriptwriter Jimmy McGovern complete his Hillsborough drama-documentary.

Christine Gifford impressed Government bosses with her track record of disseminating information to the public, demonstrated by her efforts helping establish the much-used Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Former police officer Paul Leighton retired earlier this year from his Northern Ireland post after 29 years as a police officer.

The Hillsborough committee will convene every month with the Bishop himself seeing archivists in charge of the documents every week.

The panel's first meeting will be in Liverpool in the near future followed by a face-to-face meeting with families of the 96 fans.

The ECHO has also learned that three archivists are on the verge of being appointed by Sheffield city council.

Their job will be to sift through the thousands of files boxes and presenting them in a relevant order for Bishop Jones and his seven-strong committee.


TRAGEDY: The field of flowers at Anfield following the Hillsborough disaster in1989 INFORMATION: Christine Gifford TOP COP: Paul Leighton PROFESSOR: Phil Scraton HEALTH: Bill Kirkup RECORDS: Sarah Tyacke NEWSREADER: Peter Sissons PRODUCER: Katy Jones
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Article Type:Discussion
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 26, 2010
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