Flintshire Council in north Wales yesterday passed a motion backing newspaper retailers who refuse to sell The Sun.
But councillors withdrew plans to ban The Sun newspaper, and its journalists, from any Flintshire Council premiuses.
- August 27, 2019
- July 3, 2018
- February 10, 2017
The final motion, which was backed by 36 votes to six with 18 abstentions, said: “The disaster at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield on 15 April 1989 led to the deaths of 96 innocent people who had left their homes that morning to watch a football match.
“Due to crowd control mismanagement, those fans, whose ages ranged from 10 to 67 years old, lost their lives. This disaster directly affected families in Flintshire.
“It is saddening to compare the behaviour of those who were in positions of responsibility and public trust with the dignity and courage displayed by the families of the 96, who have continued since 1989 to fight for justice whilst coping with the loss of their loved ones.
“The council cannot overlook the hurt and distress caused by the lies and smears printed in The Sun at that time – especially to the families of the 96.
“Neither can we overlook The Sun’s stubborn refusal to apologise properly for the hurt it caused until it became clear to the newspaper that public opinion demanded such an apology.
“On April 26th 2016 a jury returned verdicts of unlawful killing in relation to each victim.
“It is this Council’s hope that in due course the conclusions reached by the Hillsborough inquest will come to finally result in justice for the victims of this tragedy.
“We express our support for those affected by the disaster and commend the continuing efforts of relatives and friends of the victims in their search for justice.
“We condemn the behaviour of the Sun newspaper and we as a council will support any Flintshire retailer or newspaper vendor that choose not to sell the Sun newspaper.
“We lend our support to the campaign ‘Total Eclipse of the Sun’ in solidarity with fellow councils in the North West of the United Kingdom.”
The move follows a vote last year by Liverpool councillors calling on retailers to stop selling The Sun in the city.
The paper is still widely boycotted in Liverpool over the paper’s coverage of the Hillsborough disaster.
In September 2012 The Sun ran a front page apology in the light of the findings of the Hillsborough Independent Panel.
It has also issued prominent apologies for its actions in 2004 and in 2016, following the findings of an inquest jury which cleared Liverpool supporters of any wrongdoing.
National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) chief executive Paul Baxter said: “Flintshire council is totally wrong to believe it can stop retailers stocking the Sun and prevent the public from reading their paper of choice.
“Freedom of the press – however used – is of paramount importance and hard working independent retailers cannot be denied the profits they make from selling the tabloid. It’s unfair to expect news retailers to take sides and this move will create disharmony within local communities.”