The Battle of Orgreave took place two years before I was born and yet all these years later we still don’t know the full truth of what happened on the 18th June 2014.
It was during the midst of the 84-85 Miners’ Strike that strikers and police found themselves in violent confrontation, with the Police, Government and much of the news media at the time laying the blame at the foot of the miners. Yet, with the passage of time the official story at the time has fallen apart piece by piece.
During the clash 95 miners being arrested and charged. Yet, all 95 were acquitted amid claims that the police had fabricated the evidence. The Independent Police Commission’s redacted report, released two years ago, highlighted that ‘that there was evidence of excessive violence by police officers, and a false narrative from police exaggerating violence by miners, perjury by officers giving evidence to prosecute the arrested men, and an apparent cover-up of that perjury by senior officers.’
Despite the mounting evidence of a cover-up, the Home Secretary has continued to refuse requests for a public inquiry into the events before and after Orgreave. It would be all-too-easy to forget such events and say that what’s done is done. I have enormous respect for the modern police service and it is clearly not the organisation it was back then, but every action has consequences and if the mistakes of the past aren’t to be repeated we must know the truth.
As Leader of Crawley Borough Council, I have written to the Home Secretary urging a full public inquiry into Orgreave. The public have a right to know.