Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Orgreave: No inquiry move 'until after Hillsborough investigation'

'Battle of Orgreave' June 1984
Image caption Thousands of miners and police officers clashed at Orgreave coking plant as pickets attempted to stop lorry loads of coke leaving the site

Any inquiry into police actions during the Battle of Orgreave would not take place until Hillsborough investigations conclude, the Home Office said.

The House of Lords heard the government had not yet taken a decision as to whether an inquiry will be held.

Launching one now could prejudice the on-going investigations into the Hillsborough disaster, it heard.

About 10,000 strikers and 5,000 police officers clashed at the coking plant near Rotherham in June 1984.

More than 120 officers and pickets were injured and 93 people arrested.

On Tuesday, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) ruled a full report into allegations of police misconduct will not be made public.

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Lord Richard Keen, Lords spokesperson for the Home Office, said a barrister had been commissioned to go through 10,000 police documents "in the context of the investigation at Orgreave".

In response to a question from Lord Richard Balfe, he said: "The IPCC has told the Home Office officials that if it announces any action to set up an inquiry or other investigation relating to Orgreave it would have an impact on the Hillsborough investigation.

"For that reason, the decision will only be taken after that part has been concluded."

He added work was still on-going to "assess whether material related to the policing of Orgreave is relevant to the Hillsborough criminal investigations".

Barbara Jackson, from the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, said: "We respect all that the Hillsborough campaigners have had to go through, but we would like our issue dealt with as quickly as possible, as soon as their verdict is in the public domain."

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