Sun journalists ejected, MacKenzie apology panned

Trevor Hicks of the Hillsborough Families Support Group has thrown out journalists from The Sun covering their press conference in the wake of the release of documents exonerating fans from their role in the 1989 tragedy.

Hicks, spokesman for the group, also derided an apology from former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie for an incendiary story headlined as 'The Truth', exposed as incorrect, as "too little, too late."

The Sun have still not been forgiven by Liverpool fans for the article, which was based on a police source and accused them of having a role in causing the tragedy and responding to the unfolding events in depraved fashion on the afternoon of April 15, 1989.

Allegations included that fans had picked the pockets of victims, urinated on the police as they tried to deal with the situation, and beat up a policeman as he tried to resuscitate a victim.

The Hillsborough Independent Review has finally refuted these and other allegations, and MacKenzie, who had remained defiant about his front page for 23 years, said he was sorry.

"Today I offer my profuse apologies to the people of Liverpool for that headline," MacKenzie said in a statement. "I too was totally misled.

"Twenty three ago I was handed a piece of copy from a reputable news agency in Sheffield in which a senior police officer and a senior local MP were making serious allegations against fans in the stadium.

"I had absolutely no reason to believe that these authority figures would lie and deceive over such a disaster.

"As the Prime Minister has made clear these allegations were wholly untrue and were part of a concerted plot by police officers to discredit the supporters thereby shifting the blame for the tragedy from themselves.

"It has taken more than two decades, 400,000 documents and a two-year inquiry to discover to my horror that it would have been far more accurate had I written the headline The Lies rather than The Truth. I published in good faith and I am sorry that it was so wrong."

Hicks, however, did not accept the apology.

"It is too little, too late," he said of MacKenzie. "He's a low-life. A clever low-life.. But a low-life."

Hicks, speaking at the press conference for the families affected by the tragedy, asked Sun journalists present to identify themselves and leave.

There has been an outpouring of anger at the revelations, but one Twitter user has felt it more keenly than others.

The unfortunately-named Kelvin MacKenzie, 18, was subject to a torrent of abuse from upset fans mistaking him for the former editor.

"If you're having a bad day today spare a thought for @kelvinmackenzie who has never edited the Sun!" tweeted Steven Mitchell in sympathy.