Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Orgreave files: Government urged to consider release

Orgreave confrontation Image copyright PA
Image caption Thousands of miners and police officers clashed at the Orgreave coking site in June 1984

Secret files concerning one of the most high profile clashes of the 1980s miners' strike should be assessed and made public if possible, a government committee has said.

The files contain "personal and sensitive information" about the confrontation between miners and police at Orgreave, South Yorkshire.

Home Affairs Select Committee chairwoman Yvette Cooper said there could be "no more secrets".

The government ruled out an inquiry.

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The committee has asked Home Secretary Amber Rudd to have files which are currently withheld until 2066 independently reviewed "to see if they can be released instead", with redactions if necessary.

"People in coalfield communities need to know what happened at Orgreave and deserve access to the truth," Ms Cooper said.

"There must be no more secrets or cover-ups."

Image caption Police held back striking miners who were attempting to stop lorries leaving Orgreave

The committee contacted 18 forces involved in policing at the Orgreave coking plant in June 1984.

It also approached the National Police Chiefs' Council, which replaced the Association of Chief Police Officers, over intelligence reports and other files it holds.

Correspondence with Scotland Yard confirmed South Yorkshire Police led operations on the day and the force still had most of the Orgreave files, Ms Cooper said.

The home secretary said in December that 30 files, at least one relating to Orgreave, would be made available at the National Archives in the first half of this year.

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