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Sir Irvine Patnick, infamous for Hillsborough disaster comment, dies

Written on:December 31, 2023
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Sir Irvine Patnick apologised for the Hillsborough disaster controversy

Sir Irvine Patnick, the former Tory MP, who infamously blamed Liverpool fans for Hillsborough disaster, died at the age of 83. Sir Irvine Patnick’s family stated that he died ‘peacefully’ and would be ‘sadly missed’.

The former Conservative MP was one of the sources for blaming the Liverpool fans after the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, the football stadium tragedy that costed 96 lives. Sir Irvine Patnick, who represented the Sheffield Hallam from 1987 to 1997, was criticised in the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s report in September, for alleging that Liverpool fans had urinated on police and made sexual remarks about a dead girl.

Sir Irvine Patnick had apologised for reporting inaccurate information which he claimed to have received from police officers at the time. The former Tory MP said that he accepted total responsibility for passing on such information and expressed deep regret for the part he played in adding to the pain and suffering of the victims’ families.

Sir Irvine Patnick coined the phrase the “Socialist Republic of South Yorkshire” in an attempt to criticise the municipal administration of Sheffield at the time, although the term was taken on board as a badge of pride by opponents. Sir Irvine Patnick led Sheffield’s metropolitan county council in 1980s, describing it as “the conscience of the ratepayers and, at times, of the Labour group.”

Sir Irvine Patnick was promoted to assistant whip in July 1989 and knighted in 1994, but lost his Parliamentary seat in 1997. He was also vice-president of Sheffield’s Kingfield Synagogue and a life president of Sheffield Jewish Representative Council. But his political career was marred by the Hillsborough disaster with some Labour MPs even calling for Sir Irvine Patnick’s knighthood to be stripped off.

The Hillsborough Independent Panel ruled in September that the information in The Sun was supplied by White’s, a news agency in Sheffield, which had been briefed by police officers, Sir Irvine Patnick and the secretary of the South Yorkshire Police Federation.

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One Comment add one

  1. Nicolas says:

    His point had some merit…let us not forget that!…

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