Work on Orgreave inquiry to start next month

The Battle of Orgreave
The Battle of Orgreave
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A probe into alleged police brutality at the 1984 Orgreave miners’ picket is set to go ahead, according to a report.

A delegation from the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign met Home Secretary Amber Rudd on Tuesday to press the case for an inquiry.

Campaigners were told a decision would be made by the end of October but according to a national newspaper, Ms Rudd is set to give the go-ahead and appoint a lawyer in October to assess material relating to the trouble.

She wants to push ahead with an investigation that delivers answers that are ‘complete’ but does not want ‘something that could drag on for years’, a source told the newspaper.

Around 6,000 officers are alleged to have used excessive force to suppress a miners’ strike at Orgreave.

A total of 95 miners were charged after the clashes but their trial collapsed.

South Yorkshire Police referred itself to the IPCC in 2012 over allegations officers colluded to write court statements.

The watchdog later said the passage of time prevented a formal investigation but that there was ’support’ for the allegation that senior police exaggerated pickets’ use of violence.

A Home Office spokesman said that a decision has not yet been made.

Henrietta Hill QC, who represents the Orgreave campaigners, said: “For any Orgreave inquiry to be effective, it must have full powers to ensure that all relevant evidence is obtained.” 

MP Andy Burnham said: “It is clear that the Government have listened to what the campaigners are saying and that is welcome.

“But it is disappointing that it has emerged through an anonymous briefing to a newspaper. If it is true, the Home Secretary must confirm it without delay.

“The Home Secretary is to be congratulated for having the courage to continue the progress of shining a light on past injustice. We won’t fully restore public trust in the police until there is a true reckoning about the past.”