A regional daily has criticised the Home Secretary’s “cavalier” decision not to hold a review into a 1984 miners’ strike clash known as the Battle of Orgreave.
The Yorkshire Post has hit out at Amber Rudd’s decision not to look deeper into the incident, in which police clashed with striking miners as they tried to stop lorries carrying coke from the Orgreave coking plant, near Rotherham, to fuel steel furnaces.
Campaigners have said officers led by South Yorkshire Police were heavy-handed and manufactured statements, but Ms Rudd said there would be “very few lessons to be learned” from any inquiry.
The decision prompted the Post to run a comment piece on its front page yesterday.
It reads: “Just because no one died at the Battle of Orgreave does not justify the Home Secretary’s cavalier decision to rule out a public inquiry into the policing of these events, the subsequent miscarriage of justice and similarities – exposed by The Yorkshire Post – with how the force handled the aftermath of Hillsborough five years later, a tragedy which did, for Amber Rudd’s benefit, claim 96 lives.
“Quite the opposite. Unless Ms Rudd sees sense, and enables the decisions taken at the time by South Yorkshire Police’s leaders, and influence of Margaret Thatcher’s government, to be properly scrutinised, existing constables – many of whom were not even born when these troubling events took place in 1984 – will struggle to win back the lost confidence of the law-abiding public following the confluence of a succession of scandals.
“In a supposed era of openness, it is extraordinary that Ms Rudd should say that she has studied the ‘evidence’ and personally concluded that nothing would be gained by holding an inquiry – a decision she apparently reached after consulting her predecessor Theresa May, the current Prime Minister, and who led the Orgreave campaigners to believe that there would be some form of disclosure.”
The Post went on to accuse Ms Rudd of having “contempt for campaigners”, and called for her to reconsider.
It concluded: “Unless the Government thinks again – and Mrs May’s reaction at PMQs is awaited with particular interest – questions about cover-ups will not go away.
“They will continue to intensify and Amber Rudd will struggle to command the confidence of all those who expected better from this government.”