This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
by Lamiat Sabin
THE Home Office refused yesterday to confirm reports that it will hold a long-awaited investigation into police attacks on striking miners at Orgreave in 1984.
It was a blow to campaigners whose hopes had been raised by a front-page report in the Times citing anonymous Whitehall sources that Home Secretary Amber Rudd will soon announce an inquiry.
Members of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC) met Ms Rudd on Tuesday, saying it was “promising” after 32 years of calling for a formal investigation.
But a Home Office spokesman told the Star that the Times story was “speculation” and that Ms Rudd’s position has not changed since the meeting.
She is standing firm on the decision to announce by the end of October whether an inquiry will be held, he added.
Despite that, shadow home secretary Andy Burnham said it’s “clear that the government have listened to what the campaigners are saying” about the notorious police riot.
Mr Burham said: “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.
“But it is disappointing that it has emerged through an anonymous briefing to a newspaper. If true, the Home Secretary must confirm it without delay.”
The violent confrontation occurred after the National Union of Mineworkers sent 5,000 pickets to the Orgreave coking plant in South Yorkshire on June 18 1984, aiming to stop scab lorries getting into the site.
Around 6,000 police officers from across Britain were sent to keep the plant open, corralling the strikers into a field near the works before surrounding them and charging at them on horseback.
The BBC has been slammed for showing news footage out of sequence so it appeared that miners throwing stones at police to defend themselves had started the violence.
Ninety-five NUM members were charged with riot and serious public disorder before trials collapsed due to unreliable evidence.
Retired Manchester police officer Alex Thompson recently told Channel 4 News that local coppers from South Yorkshire Police — who five years later caused 96 deaths in the Hillsborough disaster — informed visiting officers that they’d write the statements for any arrests.
OTJC secretary Barbara Jackson welcomed news of an inquiry and said it is essential the group is consulted on the membership of any panel and its terms of reference.
Henrietta Hill QC helped prepare evidence submitted by OTJC to former home secretary Theresa May, who refused to make a decision on an inquiry before moving to Downing Street as PM.
Ms Hill said: “For any Orgreave inquiry to be effective, it must have full powers to ensure that all relevant evidence is obtained.
“It must have the ability to produce a report which provides a proper analysis of the evidence, as the Hillsborough Independent Panel did.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £10 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.