Amber Rudd urged to give MPs evidence used in Orgreave decision

Home secretary should provide MPs with information she was given in deciding against inquiry, Yvette Cooper says

MPs should examine the evidence that the home secretary, Amber Rudd, used to make a decision to block an independent inquiry into the Orgreave clashes between police and miners, the home affairs select committee chair, Yvette Cooper, has said.

Cooper will write to Rudd to request the information she was given before she came to her decision not to allow the inquiry, and all the information held by the Home Office on policing at Orgreave.

The influential committee also hopes to examine evidence held by South Yorkshire police about the 1984 clashes, which saw some of the most violent scenes of the miners’ strike, as well as an unredacted copy of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation into Orgreave and any information it considered.

“Concern about policing at Orgreave will not go away as long as there are fears that the truth has not come out,” Cooper said.

What happened at the ‘Battle of Orgreave’?

“That is why we are seeking answers from the home secretary, South Yorkshire police and the IPCC about what information they have seen and what remains unpublished or unexamined.”

Striking miners say they were set upon by baton-wielding officers on horseback, with 95 people charged with riot and violent disorder, but all the cases collapsed and South Yorkshire police were later required to pay compensation.

Rudd’s decision not to hold an inquiry into the violence at the South Yorkshire coking plant angered families, who say they were led to believe the Home Office was on side.

Cooper said MPs “need to know what information the home secretary looked at before taking her decision and whether she examined papers from the time from South Yorkshire police or government files”.

Yvette Cooper
Yvette Cooper: ‘Concern about policing at Orgreave will not go away as long as there are fears that the truth has not come out.’ Photograph: Johnny Armstead/Rex/Shutterstock

She said South Yorkshire police should also submit the evidence they held. “We also need to hear from SYP about what information they have in their archives and what they are doing to publish it, and from the IPCC about what information they looked at and what lies behind their redacted report into Orgreave policing. We want to know the facts and not have information hidden away.”

The Conservative backbencher Sir Edward Leigh has also suggested a special select committee could be set up to investigate Orgreave, backed by a cross-party group of MPs including the former shadow home secretary Andy Burnham, the Lib Dem leader, Tim Farron, the Green co-leader Caroline Lucas, the former SDLP leader Mark Durkan and the SNP MP Joanna Cherry.


Jessica Elgot Political reporter

The GuardianTramp

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