Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Orgreave files 'to be made public' in first half of 2017

Orgreave confrontation Image copyright PA
Image caption Thousands of miners and about 6,000 police officers clashed at the Orgreave coking site near Rotherham in June 1984

Files relating to the so-called Battle of Orgreave are expected to be made public in 2017, it has been revealed.

In a letter to the Home Affairs Select Committee, the home secretary said 30 files relating to the UK miners' strike would be sent to the National Archives.

The subject titles show that at least one file relates directly to Orgreave.

In October, Home Secretary Amber Rudd ruled out an inquiry into the clashes between miners and police at the Yorkshire coking site in 1984.

Campaigners have said officers led by South Yorkshire Police were heavy-handed and manufactured statements.

What was the 'Battle of Orgreave'?

Orgreave: The battle that's not over

Writing to Yvette Cooper, chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Ms Rudd said all the remaining miners' strike Home Office files should be publicly available at the National Archives in the first half of 2017.

She said the Home Office was also giving "further consideration to three files, the status of which has yet to be determined".

Image copyright Rex Features
Image caption An inquiry into the so-called Battle of Orgreave was ruled out in late October

The "Battle of Orgreave" was the most violent day of the year-long 1984-85 miners' strike.

Huge lines of police clashed with striking miners as they tried to stop lorries carrying coke to fuel the Scunthorpe steel furnaces.

At one stage police horses were sent to charge the crowd up the field, violence erupted on both sides and officers followed to make arrests.

Ms Cooper said: "The home secretary's agreement to make public 30 further files on Orgreave is welcome.

'Important documentation'

"We are seeking further information and I have now written to a further 18 police forces involved in policing the incident to ask what related written information they hold which is not in the public domain."

Barbara Jackson, secretary of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign said, the group was "very pleased" with the announcement.

She said: "Documentation is so important in anything like this, it leads to knowledge and enables people to start getting their heads around what happened."

Vera Baird, police and crime commissioner of Northumbria Police, who acted for miners when she was a barrister, previously said she was "concerned" that the Home Office was still holding the files in light of Ms Rudd's decision not to have a parliamentary inquiry.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites