Public Relations

South Yorkshire police PR admits pressure to 'spin' Hillsborough evidence

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By John McCarthy | Media editor

May 6, 2016 | 3 min read

A police press officer has told the BBC she was asked to “spin” operational details around the Hillsborough inquest.

In an interview with the BBC, since the inquest into the disaster launched in 2014 Hayley Court's (pictured above) said her position in the public relations wing of the force became ever more untenable.

The comms specialist revealed she was ask to perpetuate comments about drunk fans and the forcing of the stadiums gates in an attempt to alleviate the burden of blame falling upon the force.

She said “my job would be in jeopardy if I didn't” liaise with the press as she was instructed.

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"I felt like I was then part of the problem, which couldn't have been further from what I was trying to achieve by accepting the role in the first place. And I felt that I was letting people down by continuing to be part of it."

She shared documents claiming her reluctance to toe the line was a "performance issue", citing her failure to "redress the imbalance" in the media’s Hillsborough reports.

The interview comes after the South Yorkshire Police force was found to be culpable for the incident after decades of deflection and public deception.

Watch the full interview on BBC News here.

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