Everything you need to know as Ukip's Paul Nuttall apologises for Hillsborough claim

Paul Nuttall has said he is “very sorry” over a false claim on his website that he had lost close personal friends in the Hillsborough disaster.

But the Ukip leader said he did not write the web post that is dated August 2011.

Here are the details on exactly what’s happened.

What did Nuttall originally claim?

In the entry on his website, Nuttall called for the Government to release files it held on the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

He was then quoted as saying: “Without them being made public we will never get to the bottom of that appalling tragedy when 96 Liverpool fans including close personal friends of mine lost their lives.”

But his claims are false?

In an interview with Radio City Talk in Liverpool, Nuttall said a quote from him on his website was untrue.

“I haven’t lost a close personal friend, I’ve lost someone who I know,” he told presenter Dave Eason, adding: “I haven’t put that out, that is wrong.”

How have people responded to these revelations?

Margaret Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group (Lynne Cameron/PA)

Barry Devonside, whose son Christopher, 18, was among the victims, said the Ukip leader’s credibility had “gone out of the window”.

“It’s insensitive. We are still awaiting the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service as to whether charges will be brought and we don’t need this kind of thing from Paul Nuttall,” he said.

“He should know better as a politician and leader of Ukip.”

Hillsborough Family Support Group chair Margaret Aspinall told LBC radio: “A lot of people who were there that day did lose close personal friends and I think it’s an insult to them as well as to all the families who did lose somebody on that day.”

And people on Twitter were shocked.

But Nuttall has now apologised?

(Joe Giddens/PA)

Nuttall said in a statement he was “appalled” when he found out what had happened. But he said he did not write the web posting.

“This was an article that I did not write and did not see prior to it being posted by a member of my staff,” he said.

“Of course I take responsibility for those things that are put out under my name, but I was genuinely taken aback when this claim was brought to my attention and am both appalled and very sorry that an impression was given that was not accurate.”

In his statement, Nuttall made clear he stood by his claim to have been at the match.

St George’s Hall in Liverpool illuminated following a special commemorative service to mark the outcome of the Hillsborough inquest (Peter Byrne/PA)

“From the upper tier of the Leppings Lane End of the Hillsborough Stadium, I watched the events of that day unfold with horror,” he said.

Lynda Roughley, a press officer for Nuttall, subsequently said she had offered to resign, saying she had been “entirely responsible” for the website post.

“I am frankly mortified at the distress this issue has caused Paul and may have caused to anyone involved with the Hillsborough tragedy,” she said in a statement. “I could not be more sorry.”

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