Outrage as probe into Orgreave ruled out

Borough MPs and campaigners have united in dismay at the Government's decision not to launch a full inquiry into the Battle of Orgreave.

Tuesday, 1st November 2016, 11:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 5:15 pm

Parliamentary colleagues Andy Burnham, Lisa Nandy and Yvonne Fovargue have long supported calls for an independent probe into the actions of South Yorkshire Police.

But yesterday home secretary Amber Rudd ruled it out as “ultimately there were no deaths or wrongful convictions”.

The decision was greeted with cries of “shameful” from Labour benches in the Commons and has been labelled as a “stitch-up”.

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Wigan MP Lisa Nandy told the Evening Post: “Not for the first time, the Tories have put their own party political interests ahead of the rights of people who have spent three decades campaigning for justice.”

Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue said: “This is a grave injustice. The former miners, their families and the whole mining communities deserve to know what happened at Orgreave.”

Former shadow home secretary Andy Burnham said in the Commons: “Given that the IPCC (police watchdog) found evidence of perjury and perverting the course of justice, and that new evidence has emerged in the last month from former police officers of orchestrated violence and the mass manufacture of police statements, aren’t we right in concluding that this established stitch-up that she has just announced is nothing more than a self-serving and nakedly political decision?”

In response to Mr Burnham, Ms Rudd said: “No. The right honourable gentleman is entirely wrong.

Barbara Jackson, Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign.

“He chooses to politicise it, where there is none here. I had a meeting, as he knows, with the campaign group.

“We had a frank exchange of information about it, but the fact is just because he disagrees with the decision I have made, does not mean that it is the wrong decision at all.

“I have made it honestly, based on the evidence.”

The conduct of South Yorkshire Police officers during the 1984 miners strike has long been called into question after violent clashes involving striking miners.

Barbara Jackson, Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign.

Mr Burnham has previously suggested that to deny people justice over Orgreave would be tantaount to having denied the victims of Hillsborough.

He said: “Five years earlier, same police force, same tactics same manipulation of the evidence.”

Ms Rudd, in a ministerial statement, said: “This has been a difficult decision to make, and one which I have thought about very carefully.

“I have now concluded that there is not a sufficient basis for me to instigate either a statutory inquiry or an independent review.

“I know that this decision will come as a significant disappointment to the Orgreave Truth And Justice Campaign and its supporters.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he was “appalled that Government ruled out an inquiry - denying truth and justice for victims and their families”.

Barbara Jackson, of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, said: “This decision is deeply disappointing and absolutely unacceptable. We are determined people and will continue to build wide support for a full public inquiry. We will not give up.”