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New report on Battle of Orgreave handed to Government

New report calling for an inquiry into the policing of pickets 40 years ago (PA)
New report calling for an inquiry into the policing of pickets 40 years ago (PA)

A new report on the case for an inquiry into the most violent day of the miners’ strike 40 years ago has been handed in to the Government and major political parties.

Campaigners say the report contains new information on policing of the so-called Battle of Orgreave as well as the involvement of then prime minister Margaret Thatcher and her government.

The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC) said its report strengthens its call for an inquiry into the events 40 years ago today when thousands of police clashed with pickets outside a coking plant near Sheffield.

Labour has promised to hold an inquiry into Orgreave if it wins the general election.

A spokesperson for the OTJC said: “The report contains new information recently uncovered including public statements of police and government actions during the year-long strike versus the truth of their private acts.

“The report confirms the prime minister Margaret Thatcher and her government were influencing the miners’ strike and policing, while publicly stating a policy of ‘non-involvement’.

“Orgreave, June 18 1984, represents 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.

“Instead, as this report confirms, successive Conservative governments and senior police have worked to cover it up. Many files remain unexamined or inaccessible to the public until at least 2066.”

Kate Flannery, OTJC campaign 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 June 18 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.

“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.”