New calls for public inquiry into Battle of Orgreave

·2-min read

Pressure is building for a public inquiry into one of the most violent days on picket lines during the year-long miners’ strike.

There were violent confrontations between police and picketers at what has become known as the Battle of Orgreave.

Scores of miners were injured and arrested at the coking plant in South Yorkshire in June 1984.

There was strong criticism of the police – and government – tactics at the time, with repeated demands for an inquiry.

Battle of Orgreave scene
Police in gear escort picketers away from their position near the Orgreave coking plant in South Yorkshire in June 1984 (PA)

Parliament was told on October 31, 2016 by then home secretary Amber Rudd that there would be no Orgreave inquiry.

It was argued there were no miscarriages of justice, policing had improved since 1984 and that it was not in the public interest to hold an inquiry.

Campaigners said on Friday they believe relevant evidence was not examined.

Kate Flannery, secretary of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, said: “We recently learned what we had suspected all along, that the Tories don’t want an inquiry because the truth would damage the legacy of Margaret Thatcher’s government.

Battle of Orgreave campaigners
There has long been a campaign for a public inquiry into Orgreave (PA)

“For many, the nightmare of Orgreave is as fresh as if it happened yesterday. The Prime Minister and Home Secretary have ignored our request to meet with them.”

Kevin Horne, a former mineworker who was arrested at Orgreave, said: “You have to wonder why the government is so scared of revealing the truth about Orgreave.

“The outcome of an inquiry will be unpleasant for them but the continuation of lies and cover ups is an ugly threat to the future of justice and democracy in Britain.”

The campaign group said not all documents relating to policing on the day have been made publicly available.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The Government has no plans to undertake an inquiry into the policing of the miners’ strike in 1984-85 in England and Wales.

“The policing landscape has changed fundamentally over the past three decades.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting