Ukip leader Paul Nuttall admits Hillsborough claims were false

Mark Sands
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Stoke-on-Trent voters will go to the polls on Thursday next week. (Source: Getty)

The leader of Ukip has admitted that he did not lose “close friends” in the Hillsborough disaster, despite claims of having done so in his own website.

The personal site of Paul Nuttall, who is running to become Ukip's second MP in the Stoke-on-Trent by-election, has featured articles authored under the MEP's name which have attacked the government's handling of the tragedy.

In 2011, the Merseyside-born Nuttall claimed it was essential that briefings given to then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher were published.

“Without them being made public we will never get to the bottom of that appalling tragedy when 96 Liverpool fans including close friends of mine lost their lives," Nuttall said.

But in an interview with Radio City Talk, the Ukip leader today denied being responsible for the claims.

"I haven't lost a close personal friend, I lost someone who I know. That's not from me, I'm sorry," Nuttall said.

"It was people who I knew through football. That is something I haven't put out. It is wrong."

Stoke-on-Trent will elect its new MP next week, following the resignation of Labour MP Tristram Hunt, who departed politics to run the V&A Museum in London.

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