Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Hillsborough: Full truth won't be known 'until clarity over Orgreave'

Andy Burnham
Image caption Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham said it was a time for "transparency not secrecy"

The full truth about policing at Hillsborough will not be known until there is transparency over Orgreave, the Shadow Home Secretary has said.

Thousands of striking miners and police officers clashed at Orgreave coking plant near Rotherham in June 1984.

More than 120 officers and pickets were injured and 93 people arrested.

Speaking in the Commons, Andy Burnham said sections of a report with evidence of links between Orgreave and Hillsborough had been "redacted".

He said: "I promise the families the full truth about Hillsborough. I don't believe they will have it until we know the truth about Orgreave.

"[South Yorkshire Police] used the same underhand tactics against its own people in the aftermath of the miner's strike, that it would later use to more deadly affect against the people of Liverpool."

What was the "Battle of Orgreave"?

Legal papers demanding a public inquiry into police conduct during violent clashes of the 1984-5 miners' strike were handed to the government in December by the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) ruled South Yorkshire Police would not be investigated over Orgreave because the passage of time meant allegations of assault and misconduct at the plant "could not be pursued".

Image caption About 10,000 strikers and 5,000 South Yorkshire Police officers were involved in what became known as the "Battle of Orgreave"

Mr Burnham continued: "There has been an IPCC report on Orgreave, but parts of it are redacted. It has been put to me that those parts contain evidence of direct links between Orgreave and Hillsborough.

"This, Mr Speaker, is the time for transparency not secrecy. Time for the people of South Yorkshire to know the full truth about their police force.

"So will the Home Secretary accept the legal submission for the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign and set up a disclosure process?"

Mr Burnham also urged Home Secretary Theresa May to "end the scandal of retirement" as an escape route for former South Yorkshire Police staff.

After hearing two years of evidence at Warrington Coroners' Court, a jury found the 96 football fans who died at the 1989 Hillsborough disaster were unlawfully killed.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ninety six lanterns and roses have been placed on the steps of St George's Hall in Liverpool following the conclusion of the inquests

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