Orgreave: Rudd explains inquiry rejection decision

Campaigners from the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign on College Green, London,Image copyright

Image caption

Campaigners from the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign outside Parliament

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has written to campaigners explaining why she ruled out an inquiry into clashes between police and miners at Orgreave.

Violence flared at the South Yorkshire coking plant in 1984.

Ms Rudd told MPs on Monday the incident during the miners’ strike happened too long ago and that an inquiry was not in the public interest.

In her letter she said policing had changed sufficiently since Orgreave to mean an inquiry was not merited.

Those calling for a review said the decision was an “establishment whitewash”.

Media captionLabour MP Chris Matheson accuses Amber Rudd of “leading families up the garden path” after she says there will be “no statutory inquiry or independent review”

In the six-page letter seen by the BBC, the home secretary said the decision was made by her personally in accordance with the ministerial code, after appropriate consultation at the highest levels.

She also argued that any review would be hampered by the passage of time, that some of those involved had died and that – in terms of accountability – most officers whose conduct might be examined were no longer employed by the police.

The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign has reiterated it will continue to demand an inquiry and is scheduled to hold a news conference on Tuesday morning in association with the National Union of Mineworkers.

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Police held back striking miners who were attempting to stop lorries of coke leaving Orgreave coking plant for steel works in 1984

Analysis: Danny Savage BBC News Correspondent

A few weeks ago the mood music from government was that there would be an inquiry into what happened at Orgreave.

The only decision was what form the investigation would take. So those pushing for an inquiry were astonished on Monday when the announcement was made that there is going to be no review. They now claim they were misled.

The home secretary says she made the “difficult decision” because “ultimately there were no deaths or wrongful convictions” resulting from the conduct of South Yorkshire Police at the time.

What was the ‘Battle of Orgreave’?

Orgreave: The battle that’s not over

The Battle of Orgreave was the most violent day of the year-long 1984-85 miners’ strike.

Huge lines of police clashed with striking miners as they tried to stop lorries carrying coke to fuel the Scunthorpe steel furnaces.

Violence erupted on both sides and at one stage police horses were sent to charge the crowd up the field as officers followed to make arrests.

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