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New information suggests police were tipped off about Birmingham bombings

Birmingham pub, 'Tavern in the Town' in aftermath of bomb. Image: Getty
Birmingham pub ‘Tavern in the Town’ in the aftermath of bomb Pic: Getty

SIGNIFICANT new information has been sent to the coroner responsible for deciding whether to reopen the inquest into the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings.

The information, which suggests police and security forces had advance warning of the attacks, was sent to the office of the senior coroner for Birmingham and Solihull, Louise Hunt, on Wednesday, April 27.

The existence of the new evidence was made public yesterday at a public hearing at Solihull Council Chambers.

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The hearing had been called by the coroner to hear final submissions from interested parties ahead of her decision on whether to resume the inquests.

The November 1974 bombings killed 21 people and injured 182 when explosions devastated two city centre pubs, The Mulberry Bush and the Tavern in the Town.

The investigation led to the trial and imprisonment of the Birmingham Six, who were released in 1991 when the court of appeal overturned the convictions.

The inquests into the deaths of the 21 were initially opened within a week of the attacks; they were then adjourned to make way for the criminal trial. They were never resumed.

At a prior hearing in February the coroner was told that as many as 35 of the 168 exhibits used as evidence at the Lancaster Crown Court trial in 1975 are likely to have been lost.

Despite the new development, lawyers for West Midlands Police told the hearing in Solihull that there was no ‘evidential basis’ for allegations that police or security services had any prior warnings about the bombings.

Ms Hunt will make a final decision on whether or not to resume the inquests on June 1.



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