Distasteful revisions of the Hillsborough and Anfield Wikipedia pages were traced to computers in HM Treasury and Culture, Media and Sport departments, the Liverpool Echo revealed yesterday.
The paper found that computers using the government’s secure intranet were used in 2012 to change the phrase “You’ll never walk alone” to “You’ll never walk again” and later to “You’ll never w*** alone” on the Hillsborough disaster Wiki page.
The phrase “This is Anfield” was also changed by government IP addresses to “This is a S***hole” on the widely-used encyclopaedia site.
The discovery was made after linking IP addresses that had been released by Wallasey MP Angela Eagle following a parliamentary question in 2008.
An analysis of Wikipedia’s revision history showed that the same unique ID codes were used to amend the Hillsborough and Anfield Wiki pages.
An investigation led by the Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary, Richard Heaton, who is responsible for the government computer network began after the Liverpool Echo printed the story. MP Andy Burnham will be overseeing the inquiry alongside several government officials.
A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: “We thank the Liverpool Echo for bringing this to our attention. This is a matter that we will treat with the utmost seriousness and are making urgent inquiries.
“No one should be in any doubt of the government’s position regarding the Hillsborough disaster and its support for the families of the 96 victims and all those affected by the tragedy."
The government has also released a statement which said: "At this time, we have no reason to suspect that the Hillsborough edits involve any particular department, nor more than 1 or 2 individuals in 2009 and 2012. As the first incident happened 5 years ago and there are hundreds of thousands of people on the government’s network, it may prove challenging to identify who was involved. But we are exhausting every option. Anyone with information should contact the Cabinet Office."
An inquest is currently ongoing in Warrington, Cheshire, in a bid to determine what caused the disaster which left 96 Liverpool fans dead and 776 injured at Sheffield Wednesday in 1989.