Today marks 35 years since Orgreave. As the Orgreave Campaign for Truth and Justice argues, it is possible to see a similar thread running through police actions at Orgreave and at Hillsborough five years later. While South Yorkshire Police is now thankfully a completely different organisation, that doesn’t in itself provide justice for what happened at Orgreave, nor does it mean that the families affected should be denied closure.
It’s so disappointing that the Government recently rejected an offer from the Bishop of Sheffield to chair an independent panel to look into the events at Orgreave. We are now 35 years on from Orgreave, and ex-miners and their families are still waiting for justice.
The Government’s argument that it’s too late for an inquiry, due to the length of time that’s passed, is simply not acceptable. It took 27 years to secure justice for the families of the Hillsborough victims – that was shameful, and it’s disgraceful that it’s taking even longer for justice for those affected by Orgreave.
The last Labour manifesto committed to a full public inquiry into the events at Orgreave. This was a vital step forward. It’s time this Government made the same pledge, and I’ll keep pushing them to do so.