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MP backs campaign for Orgreave inquiry

Mary Creagh MP has backed calls for a comprehensive, Hillsborough-style, independent inquiry into South Yorkshire Police’s handling of events at the Orgreave coking plant in June 1984.

This follows the disappointing decision of the Independent Police Complaint’s Commission (IPCC) not to fully investigate criminal wrongdoings by police at Orgreave.

In light of the serious allegations against South Yorkshire police – including perjury, perverting the course of justice, misconduct in a public office, and questions about whether the actions of the police were influenced by the highest levels of government – it is essential that a full public enquiry is opened.

Mary Creagh has signed a letter calling on Home Secretary to meet with a delegation of MPs, representatives from the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign and victims, in order to make the case for a full public inquiry.

Mary Creagh said:

“These are shocking allegations against South Yorkshire police, and it is absolutely vital that they are fully investigated.

“It is clear that the only way to expose the truth and ensure that the victims finally get justice is to launch a comprehensive, independent inquiry, along the lines of the Hillsborough inquiry. Any attempt to delay launching such an investigation is an insult to the victims and their families.

“I have signed a letter, along with a number of other Labour MPs, which presses the Home Secretary to take immediate action. I will await to hear her response. We will not stop until we get at the truth of the police’s handling of Orgreave.”

Ends

Notes to editors

Full text of the letter:

Secretary of State for the Home Office,

We are writing with regard to the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s decision of Friday 12th June not to launch an investigation into the South Yorkshire Police’s handling of events at the Orgreave coking plant in June 1984.

As the IPCC Deputy Chair, Sarah Green, herself notes in the full decision rationale “the events of June 1984 marked not only a critical point in the miners’ strike, but also in the relationship with, and trust in, the police”.

However, Sarah Green states that to conduct a full investigation into whether “individual officers perjured themselves, there was controlling intelligence at a senior level, or a systematic integrity issue within the force which led to evidence being fabricated” would be “extremely challenging for the IPCC” involving “hundreds of witnesses, many of whom were relatively junior at the time” and “the fact that it has taken us two years to gather and read existing documentation – which is by no means complete – indicates the scale of the challenge”.

Given the IPCC have indicated they do not have the capacity to carry out such an important investigation and in light of the seriousness of the allegations against South Yorkshire Police, including perjury, perverting the course of justice, misconduct in a public office, and whether the actions of the police were influenced by the highest levels of government and finally given the scale of public concern, the case for a full public inquiry into the events of Orgreave is clear.

That case must surely have been strengthened by the view of the Deputy Chair of the IPCC herself in the full decision rationale that such questions can only be answered “if there is a full public inquiry or an exercise like the Hillsborough Independent Panel (HIP)” concluding that “nothing in this report precludes such an exercise”.

We are therefore writing to request an urgent meeting with the Home Secretary, a delegation of MPs, representatives from the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, and victims to enable the representatives to make the case for a full public inquiry and to ask the government whether ministers will move to establish such an inquiry.

We look forward to hearing from you at the earliest opportunity.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Lavery MP, Chair of the Trade Union Group and Member of Parliament for Wansbeck

Louise Haigh MP, Member of Parliament for Sheffield Heeley

Joe Rollin, Chair of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC)

Barbara Jackson, Secretary of the OTJC

Paul Blomfield MP, Member of Parliament for Sheffield Central

Clive Betts MP, Member of Parliament for Sheffield South East

Michael Dugher MP, Member of Parliament for Barnsley East

Harry Harpham MP, Member of Parliament for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough

Dan Jarvis MP, Member of Parliament for Barnsley Central

Sarah Champion MP, Member of Parliament for Rotherham

Dennis Skinner MP, Member of Parliament for Bolsover

David Crausby MP, Member of Parliament for Bolton North East

Ian Mearns MP, Member of Parliament for Gateshead

Richard Burgon MP, Member of Parliament for Leeds East

Dave Anderson MP, Member of Parliament for Blaydon

Rachael Maskell MP, Member of Parliament for York Central

Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Member of Parliament for South Shields

Steve Rotheram MP, Member of Parliament for Liverpool Walton

Kelvin Hopkins MP, Member of Parliament for Luton North

John McDonnell MP, Member of Parliament for Hayes and Harlington

Alex Cunningham MP, Member of Parliament for Stockton North

Stephen Kinnock MP, Member of Parliament Aberavon

Nick Thomas-Symonds MP, Member of Parliament for Torfaen

Ruth Smeeth MP, Member of Parliament for Stoke on Trent North

Barbara Keeley MP, Member of Parliament for Worsley and Eccles South

Ronnie Campbell MP, Member of Parliament for Blyth Valley

Paula Sherriff MP, Member of Parliament for Dewsbury

Thangam Debbonaire MP, Member of Parliament for Bristol West

Julie Elliott MP, Member of Parliament for Sunderland Central

Mary Creagh MP, Member of Parliament for Wakefield

Andrew Gwynne MP, Member of Parliament for Denton and Reddish

Wes Streeting MP, Member of Parliament for Ilford North

Madeline Moon MP, Member of Parliament for Bridgend

Jo Stevens MP, Member of Parliament for Cardiff Central

Pat Glass MP, Member of Parliament for North West Durham

Emily Thornberry MP, Member of Parliament for Islington South and Finsbury

Jonathan Reynolds MP, Member of Parliament for Stalybridge and Hyde

Angela Rayner MP, Member of Parliament for Ashton-under-Lyne

Justin Madders MP, Member of Parliament for Ellesmere Port and Neston

John Woodcock MP, Member of Parliament for Barrow and Furness

Yvonne Fovargue MP, Member of Parliament for Makerfield

John Mann MP, Member of Parliament for Bassetlaw

Helen Jones MP, Member of Parliament for Warrington North

Lilian Greenwood MP, Member of Parliament Nottingham South

Melanie Onn MP, Member of Parliament for Great Grimsby

John Cryer MP, Member of Parliament for Leyton and Wanstead

Cat Smith MP, Member of Parliament for Lancaster and Fleetwood

Chris Matheson MP, Member of Parliament for City of Chester

Rosie Cooper MP, Member of Parliament for West Lancashire

George Howarth MP, Member of Parliament for Knowsley

Catherine McKinnell MP, Member of Parliament for Newcastle North

Fiona MacTaggart MP, Member of Parliament for Slough

Maria Eagle MP, Member of Parliament for Garston and Halewood

Diane Abbott MP, Member of Parliament for Hackney North and Stoke Newington

Paul Flynn MP, Member of Parliament for Newport West

Nia Griffith MP, Member of Parliament for Llanelli

Vicky Foxcroft MP, Member of Parliament for Lewisham Deptford

Ruth Cadbury MP, Member of Parliament for Brentford and Isleworth

Rob Marris MP, Member of Parliament for Wolverhampton South West

Andrew Smith MP, Member of Parliament for Oxford East

Barry Sheerman MP, Member of Parliament for Huddersfield

Valerie Vaz MP, Member of Parliament for Walsall South

Grahame Morris MP, Member of Parliament for Easington

Matthew Pennycook MP, Member of Parliament for Greenwich and Woolwich

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