David Crompton, the former deputy chief constable of West Yorkshire Police has apologised for an “inappropriate and insensitive” he sent about the Hillsborough disaster, calling families of the victims liars.
He also attempted – and failed – to cover-up the email, which became public thanks to a freedom of information request and a four-month battle by the Daily Star Sunday.
In November Crompton signed a document banning the release of the email, despite the legal requirement to do so. Instead, he released a blacked-out copy of the email, revealing only the time it was sent and its recipients.
The Daily Star Sunday won an appeal to bring the document into the public eye.
In the email, sent just four days before the Hillsborough Independent Panel (HIP) report was published, he stated:
“One thing is for certain — the Hillsborough Campaign for justice will be doing their version… in fact their version of certain events has become ‘the truth’ even though it isn’t!
He then suggests using social media as a tool for propagating the police narrative:
“I just have the feeling that the media ‘machine’ favours the families, so we need to be a bit more innovative in our response to have a fighting chance otherwise we will just be roadkill.”
The email was sent to his assistant chief constable and head of press and communications.
Today chief constable Crompton issued an apology:
“It was never intended to cause any offence and I apologise if it has done so. Nor was it intended to challenge the integrity and views of those who lost loved ones in the Hillsborough disaster.
However, he is still facing calls to resign, and a complaint has been passed to Home Secretary Theresa May and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).