MPs across the political spectrum signed the letter, including Sir Peter Bottomley, who was an employment minister at the time of the strike [Image: Don McPhee for the Guardian].

MPs across the political spectrum signed the letter, including Sir Peter Bottomley, who was an employment minister at the time of the strike [Image: Don McPhee for the Guardian].


The demand for an inquiry into the ‘Battle of Orgreave’, following the Hillsborough inquiry, is welcome.

But Theresa May is the kind of person who likes to scrutinise what the plebs are doing, and doesn’t strike this writer as being in any way interested in examining the questionable actions of a former Conservative government.

Hillsborough probably hurt her enough.

So how far will this get?

A cross-party coalition of MPs have written to the home secretary, Theresa May, to demand an inquiry into alleged police brutality during the miners’ strike at Orgreave in Rotherham.

Sir Peter Bottomley, a Conservative MP who was employment minister during the 1984-85 strike, has signed the Orgreave statement alongside Angus Robertson, the SNP’s parliamentary group leader, and the Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron.

Much of the parliamentary Labour party, including Jeremy Corbyn, are also signatories of the statement, which calls for “difficult truths to be confronted”, not least “how and whether police forces – ostensibly there to serve their communities – were used against one”.

The events of what became known as the Battle of Orgreave at the coking plant on the borders of Rotherham and Sheffield came to symbolise the miners’ strike. Large numbers of pickets were confronted by about 6,000 police from across the UK. Police charged 95 miners following the disturbances but the workers’ trial collapsed. Virtually all traces of the coking plant and the adjacent pit have since been eradicated.

The letter notes that events of recent weeks – specifically the findings at the Hillsborough inquest, the subsequent statement by South Yorkshire police’s interim chief constable, Dave Jones, and the recently released documents by the IPCC linking Orgreave to Hillsborough – make the case for an inquiry “overwhelming”.

A legal submission from Michael Mansfield QC, and the Orgreave Truth and Justice campaign, is currently being considering by the home secretary.

Source: MPs write to Theresa May to demand inquiry into Orgreave policing | Politics | The Guardian

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