Doncaster MPs in fresh call for Orgreave investigation

Miners Strike 1984'Orgreave Coking Plant'Police with riot shields'Arthur Scargill
Miners Strike 1984'Orgreave Coking Plant'Police with riot shields'Arthur Scargill

Doncaster’s MPs have reiterated calls for a full investigation into the infamous ‘Battle of Orgreave’ following a debate in Parliament.

Ed Miliband, Caroline Flint and Rosie Winterton have previously called for an apology from Conservative ministers for their handling of the miners’ strike.

Now they have repeated that call, and, as part of the Labour Party’s Justice for the Coalfields campaign, are pushing for an inquiry into the clash between police and striking miners at the Orgreave coking plant, near Rotherham, on June 18 1984.

It came during an Opposition Day Debate on Coalfield Communities, which was called by Labour.

Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband said: “There are many people from mining communities, such as the ones I represent in my own constituency, who have long suspected that senior ministers had a calculated plan to close several pits.

“What happened at Orgreave 30 years ago was a black day in South Yorkshire. If the Independent Police Complaints Commission can’t or won’t undertake a proper investigation, then government should consider initiating a swift, independent review.”

Papers released in January showed that Margaret Thatcher and her ministers had secret plans to close 75 pits.

Don Valley MP Caroline Flint said: “I am proud to represent a borough that through coalmining, contributed so much to the prosperity of our country.

“Miners and their families did not deserve to be treated like an ‘enemy within’ by Mrs Thatcher and her Government. People in Doncaster who lived through the miners’ strike will not have been surprised by what was revealed in the cabinet papers published earlier this year.

“Ministers may want to sweep the events of the miners’ strike under the carpet, but they won’t ever be forgotten in Doncaster and other coalfield communities.”

Doncaster Central MP Rosie Winterton said: “The debate comes too late for so many of the miners and families in South Yorkshire, and beyond, who saw their lives and their communities decimated after the strike, but that sense of injustice endures today across those coalfield communities who are still dealing with the devastating consequences of what happened.”