Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Battle of Orgreave inquiry 'green light' welcomed by campaigners

Orgreave campaigners Image copyright Philip Toscano/PA Wire
Image caption Members of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC) met with the home secretary on Tuesday

Campaigners calling for an inquiry into the police handling of the Battle of Orgeave have welcomed reports an official review is set to be approved.

The Times has reported Home Secretary Amber Rudd wants an investigation that delivers "complete" answers but will not "drag on".

The BBC understands there will be an official inquiry, but it is yet to be decided what format it will take.

Campaigners who met with Mrs Rudd on Tuesday said they welcome the news.

Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham, meanwhile, has called on Mrs Rudd to confirm immediately if reports of an official inquiry are true.

Mrs Rudd is set to make an announcement at the end of next month.

Thousands of miners and police clashed at the South Yorkshire coking site.

Ninety-five miners were charged, though the case against them ultimately collapsed.

Campaigners claim South Yorkshire Police instigated the violence and later fabricated its account of events.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Thousands of miners and police clashed at the Orgreave coking site in South Yorkshire

Barbara Jackson, secretary of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, said: "We welcome the media reports suggesting that the home secretary accepts the imperative for an inquiry into Orgreave and is now considering what format that inquiry should take.

"For any Orgreave inquiry to be effective, it must have full powers to ensure that all relevant evidence is obtained.

"It must have the ability to produce a report which provides a proper analysis of the evidence, as the Hillsborough Independent Panel did.

"For any inquiry to have the confidence of all concerned, it must involve those with sufficient expertise and independence to deliver a rigorous analysis and robust conclusions."

Image caption The clashes at Orgreave were among the most violent of the 1984-5 miners' strike

Mr Burnham has previously said an inquiry into Orgreave is also essential to understand the "full truth" about policing at the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

He said: "It is clear that the Government has listened to what the campaigners are saying and that is welcome.

"But it is disappointing that it has emerged through an anonymous briefing to a newspaper. If it is true, the home secretary must confirm it without delay."

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