Miners deserve the whole truth about Orgreave

Ian Lavery MP at the Northumberland Miners' Picnic at Woodhorn.
Picture by Jane Coltman

Ian Lavery MP at the Northumberland Miners' Picnic at Woodhorn. Picture by Jane Coltman

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We may be just weeks away from learning whether Home Secretary Amanda Rudd is to sanction an inquiry to determine the truth about what happened in South Yorkshire during one of the flash-points of the 1982 miners’ strike.

The ‘Battle of Orgreave’ saw some 6,000 police clash with striking miners trying to prevent lorries leaving the coking plant. More than 90 miners were charged with affray, but the cases against them collapsed amid claims of falsified evidence and concocted statements by South Yorkshire Police.

For 32 years the mining ‘family’ has campaigned for the truth to come out and last week I joined campaigners in pressing the Home Secretary to hold a proper inquiry. If reports are to be believed she will announce her decision before the end of October. If she comes out in favour of an inquiry then I will wholeheartedly applaud her actions.

It is vital we learn the truth because the lives of many law-abiding people have been blighted for three decades by having criminal charges brought against them. There are men who have been afraid to tell their grandchildren about those charges all those years ago.

There is no time limit on justice or on rebuilding the trust that was lost between the miners and police, not just in South Yorkshire, but in Northumberland and Durham as well. The mining community deserves the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

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