Police: We've apologised to Liverpool fans but we won't apologise to MacKenzie - Press Gazette

Police: We've apologised to Liverpool fans but we won't apologise to MacKenzie


South Yorkshire Police chief constable David Crompton has said his force won't apologise to former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie over the lies its officers told which led to an infamous Sun front page.

Writing in this week's Spectator, MacKenzie complained that he has been personally vilified as result of the front page of 23 years ago, four days after the Hillsborough tragedy in which 96 Liverpool fans died.

And he revealed that he had instructed his solicitors to demand an "apology and recompense" from South Yorkshire Police.

In the Hillsborogh Report it emerged that The Sun front-page Story headlined THE TRUTH was based on copy supplied by White's News Agency in Sheffield. They based their report on interviews with un-named police sources, local Conservative MP Irvine Patnick and South Yorkshire Police Federation spokesperson Paul Middup.

While many other media outlets covered allegations that Liverpool fans has urinated on police officers resuscitating the dying and stolen from the dead, MacKenzie went much further than anyone else with his headline leading to a boycott of The Sun on Hillsborough that continues to this day.

MacKenzie said in his Spectator piece: "Now I know – you know, we all know – that the fans were right. But it took 23 years, two inquiries, one inquest and research into 400,000 documents, many of which were kept secret under the 30-year no-publication rule, to discover there was a vast cover-up by South Yorkshire Police about the disaster. Where does that leave me?"

He said that police patrols have been increased around his house and described a "physical danger" he faces in Liverpool.

He said: "But the people who have got away scot-free are South Yorkshire Police,"adding that he is seeking recompense for "the lies their officers told".

Current South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable David Crompton issued a statement which said: "SYP have received a letter from Kelvin MacKenzie's lawyers, which demands the force makes an apology to him.

"We have publicly apologised to the Hillsborough families and the Liverpool fans but we will not apologise to Mr MacKenzie. He chose to write his own headline and he should accept responsibility for it."




Press Gazette's must-read weekly newsletter featuring interviews, data, insight and investigations.