The Right Rev’d James Jones KBE (68) received the city’s highest civic honour in a ceremony in Liverpool Town Hall, Council Chambers earlier.
The Rev’d who received a Knighthood in the New Years Honours List was presented with the award for his work as chair of the Hillsborough Independent Panel who’s report led to the quashing of the verdicts and criminal proceedings against some of those involved in the cover up. The award was also presented for this pastoral duties and challenging poverty in Liverpool
Lord Mayor of Liverpool Councillor Roz Gladden, said: “Bishop James has been a towering figure in Liverpool life for almost two decades, championing the city and speaking up on behalf of those with no voice. We all owe him a huge debt of gratitude for his work leading the Church of England in the city and latterly chairing the Hillsborough Independent Panel which shed light on what really happened during and after the disaster.”
“It is right and proper that we convey and formally record our thanks for his incredible passion, commitment and loyalty to the city by awarding him the Freedom of Liverpool.”
Bishop James said: “Receiving the Freedom of the City underlines the honour that it has been to serve the people of Liverpool, especially the families of the 96 and the survivors. The city has never wavered in its support of them and to become a freeman of this city is a permanent reminder to me of the way the families have fought and been vindicated in their struggle for truth, justice and accountability.”
Last September, the city council awarded the Freedom of the City posthumously to the 96 Liverpool fans who died in the disaster, as well as to Professor Phil Scraton, who led the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s research team, and Kenny and Marina Dalglish, who represented the football club so magnificently at the time. Due to his work commitments as advisor on Hillsborough to the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, Bishop James was unable to attend that ceremony.
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