Fresh calls for public inquiry into the Battle of Orgreave

Police officers at Orgreave
Police officers at Orgreave
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The case for an inquiry into the Battle of Orgreave during the 1984 miners' strike is 'overwhelming', Labour has argued.

Speaking in the House of Lords yesterday, Labour peer Lord Rosser called for a public inquiry into the clash between miners and police officers outside a coking plant in Orgreave because of similarities with the Hillsborough Disaster.

Leaked sections of a report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission into police actions during and after the Battle of Orgreave revealed some police officers involved also played a part in the attempted South Yorkshire Police cover-up of police mistakes during the Hillsborough Disaster.

He said the IPCC review of police actions had 'exposed striking similarities between the personnel and alleged practices of South Yorkshire Police at Orgreave and Hillsborough'.

Lord Rosser added: "We support the call for an inquiry the case for which is now overwhelming.

"Why is it taking so long for the Government to come to the same conclusion?"

The IPCC announced on Tuesday that it will not publish its full, unredacted report into police actions at Orgreave 'because there may be some material within that report which is relevant to the current Hillsborough investigation'.

The clash at Orgreave resulted in dozens of injuries on both sides.

Pickets later complained of excessive force by some of the 6,000 police officers brought in for the strike.

A total of 95 miners were charged following the disturbances, but their trials collapsed.

South Yorkshire Police referred itself to the IPCC over allegations officers colluded to write false court statements, but the watchdog said the passage of time prevented a formal investigation.

Home Office spokesman Lord Keen of Elie said "The Home Secretary has been considering a submission from campaigners on the need for an inquiry into the events at Orgreave.

"The IPCC is working with the Crown Prosecution Service to assess whether material related to the policing of Ogreave is relevant to the Hillsborough criminal investigations.

"Decisions are yet to be made by them on whether any criminal proceedings will be brought as a result.

"The Government's position will be announced to Parliament after this."