On 15 December 2009 I announced the establishment of the Hillsborough Independent Panel and the appointment of the Right Reverend James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool as the panel’s chairman. The appointment of seven panel members was announced in my written statement of 26 January 2010.
In view of the range of skills needed and the hundreds of thousands of documents within the panel’s scope, my announcement on 26 January referred to the likelihood of further appointments, including the appointment to the panel of a suitably experienced lawyer. I can now confirm that Raju Bhatt, a founder and partner of Bhatt Murphy Solicitors and one of the founding members of Inquest Lawyers Group, has been appointed as a member of the Hillsborough Independent Panel.
This announcement completes the process of appointments to the panel, each of which is for a period of two years.
I am confident that the panel members have the skills and experience they need to be successful in the challenging tasks the panel faces, and that it will continue to act with independence, rigour, and sensitivity. The panel will, itself, consider the range of professional expertise it may wish to call upon in due course.