Fresh call for Orgreave inquiry on 40th anniversary

Fresh call for Orgreave inquiry on 40th anniversary

The UK government has faced fresh calls for a public inquiry into policing at the so-called Battle of Orgreave on its 40th anniversary.

The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC) yesterday delivered copies of a new report titled Orgreave Truth and Justice: 40 years on, the case for an Inquiry to the Home Office and the headquarters of the major UK political parties.

The 60-page report describes events on 18 June 1984, during the 1984/85 miners’ strike, as “one of the most serious abuses of power by police and government in this country’s industrial and trade union history, the truth of which has never been told or acknowledged by the state”.

Kate Flannery, OTJC secretary, said: “It is important that the truth is established via an independent inquiry and that the police and government are brought to account for their actions at Orgreave on 18 June 1984.

“This day is particularly significant as it shines a light on what was going on in mining villages and communities throughout the year-long 84/5 miners’ strike.

“With the National Archive files released it is obvious that Conservative prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s involvement alone is enough for an inquiry into Orgreave on 18 June 1984.

“There are still many government files held back — some of which are under lock and key until at least 2066. An inquiry should reveal what is in those files and what has been held back for 40 years.”

Kevin Horne, a miner who was arrested at Orgreave, said: “There has been no accountability of policing at Orgreave. This sent a very clear message that the police could employ violence with impunity.

“This must surely have set a culture for the police cover-up in 1989 at Hillsborough. The police lied in their statements and in court about what they did at Orgreave.

“We want the answers to questions about the lying and violent behaviour of the police. We want to know how police officers were briefed and why they were not held to account by the director of public prosecutions or their own employer.”

The Labour Party, which is leading in the polls ahead of next month’s UK general election, has pledged in its manifesto to “ensure, through an investigation or inquiry, that the truth about the events at Orgreave comes to light”.

According to the BBC, the Conservatives say they have “no plans to conduct an inquiry into Orgreave” while the Liberal Democrats, Reform UK and the Green Party have indicated their support in principle.

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