Battle of Orgreave: Public Inquiry ruled out by the Tories.

There will be no inquiry into “Battle of Orgreave”, Home Secretary Amber Rudd has announced today as she believes that there was no “sufficient basis… to instigate either a statutory inquiry or an independent review” said the Home Secretary..

The “battle of Orgreave” saw thousands of striking miners and police officers clashed at the Yorkshire coking site in 1984 where officers led by South Yorkshire Police were heavy-handed and have then manufactured statements.

New evidence emerged this year from police officers who were at the confrontation, while the Independent Police Complaints Commission said last year there was “evidence of excessive violence by police officers, a false narrative from police exaggerating violence by miners, perjury by officers giving evidence to prosecute the arrested men, and an apparent coverup of that perjury by senior officers”.

However, Rudd said she did not believe there was “sufficient basis… to instigate either a statutory inquiry or an independent review”.

In a written statement Rudd said:

Despite the forceful accounts and arguments provided by the campaigners and former miners who were present that day about the effect that these events have had on them, ultimately there were no deaths or wrongful convictions.”

“The campaigners say that had the consequences of the events at Orgreave been addressed properly at the time, the tragic events at Hillsborough would never have happened five years later.

That is not a conclusion which I believe can be reached with any certainty.”

The move enraged campaigners who say South Yorkshire Police, the same force that smeared the 96 Liverpool fans killed at Hillsborough, covered up their brutality at the Orgreave coking plant.

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott described the decision as a “grave injustice” and then added:

A six-page letter does not compensate for the violence and injustice that occurred at Orgreave so many years ago.

“We know South Yorkshire Police lied about what happened at Hillsborough. Just five years earlier the same South Yorkshire Police, many of the same commanders, behaved in the same way at Orgreave.”

Former miners and the former mining communities in South Yorkshire deserve an explanation as to what happened on that day and where Orgreave fits in the wider story of the miners’ strike.

It’s another reason to unite to elect a Labour government so that the miners can get the justice they deserve.

Stephane Savary

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