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'Stitch-up' claim over rejection of Orgreave riot probe

By Arj Singh

Published 01/11/2016

The so-called Battle at Orgreave became one of the most infamous showdowns between pickets and police during the miners' strike.
The so-called Battle at Orgreave became one of the most infamous showdowns between pickets and police during the miners' strike.

Ministers have been accused of an "Establishment stitch-up" after announcing there will be no official inquiry into the 1984 clash between police and miners at Orgreave.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd dismayed campaigners by rejecting calls for a statutory inquiry or independent review into the confrontation at the South Yorkshire coking plant, which was one of the most violent events of the Thatcher-era miners' strike.

Ms Rudd said she made the "difficult decision" because "ultimately there were no deaths or wrongful convictions" resulting from the conduct of South Yorkshire Police. And she said the clash happened too long ago to have lessons for the current policing system.

Her decision was denounced by shadow home secretary Diane Abbott as a "grave injustice", while Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh - who raised demands for an inquiry last year in a letter to then Home Secretary Theresa May - said campaigners had been "led up the garden path" only to be denied justice.

There were cries of "disgraceful" and "shameful" from the Labour benches as Ms Rudd detailed her decision in response to a question in the House of Commons, while dozens of campaigners in the public gallery shook their heads at the Home Secretary's comments.

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