Former police chief Sir Norman Bettison has told a jury he was not involved in a "black propaganda unit" to put the blame for the Hillsborough disaster on Liverpool fans.

The ex-chief constable of Merseyside and West Yorkshire police forces added that "nothing about Hillsborough embarrasses me".

Sir Norman responded to questions at the inquests into the deaths of 96 supporters as to why he did not mention Hillsborough in his application form or interview for the top post at Merseyside Police in 1998.

He has explained that he felt "no opportunity" arose to provide that information.

Sir Norman was a chief inspector with South Yorkshire Police at the time of the tragedy at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough ground in April 1989, but had no involvement in policing the game and was only there as a spectator.

But he was accused of being part of a cover-up years later following the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report in 2012 which led to the quashing of the original inquest verdicts.

The jury has heard he was part of a team that gathered evidence for South Yorkshire Police's response to the tragedy for the subsequent Taylor Inquiry - a team which allegedly was ordered to place the blame on Liverpool fans.

When interviewed for the post of chief constable at Merseyside he did not mention the disaster when asked by a selection panel what was the incident he would most like to forget in his career, the court in Warrington was told.

He later told Merseyside police authority members that he interpreted the question as asking what his "most embarrassing" moment was, not the "most traumatic".

Sir Norman told the jury: "Nothing about Hillsborough embarrasses me. I did not think of Hillsborough when the question was posed."

Peter Wilcock QC, representing 75 bereaved families, suggested to him that he omitted the information because of his involvement in blaming the fans.

Sir Norman replied: "I am not embarrassed by the issue. I was not involved in a black propaganda unit to put the blame on fans."

Paul Greaney QC, representing the Police Federation, asked him: "You appreciate that your application to the role led to it generating strong feelings on the part of the bereaved families?"

Sir Norman answered: "I genuinely did not anticipate that but I did understand it immediately."

He explained that by the time he applied to Merseyside he had five years of experience as an assistant chief constable at West Yorkshire Police and had "many many" examples of senior command work.

Mr Greaney asked: "Did it even occur to you mention, given your substantial senior command experience you had by 1998, experiences that you had as a much more junior officer?"

"No it did not," said Sir Norman.

Mr Greaney continued: "Is that one important reason why you did not mention your role in the Wain team (the 1989 evidence gathering team) in that application?"

Sir Norman said: "It was a very significant reason."

The witness went on to say he had not been criticised for his role at Hillsborough at that point.

Mr Greaney asked: "Did you deliberately conceal your role in the aftermath of Hillsborough from the selection panel or from anyone else concerning your appointment?"

Sir Norman said: "No, I didn't then and I never would."