The former miners leader Arthur Scargill has accused South Yorkshire police of conspiring against him at the Battle of Orgreave - one of the most violent clashes of the 1980's miners strike.
Today, nearly 30 years after he was arrested near the pithead, he's written to the police watchdog, the IPCC, calling for a full investigation. South Yorkshire Police, for its part, says it will assist the investigation. David Hirst reports.
South Yorkshire Police has responded to a letter to the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) from former President of the National Union of Mineworkers, Arthur Scargill, claiming that a "conspiracy file" was being kept on him:
South Yorkshire Police is aware of the letter dated 19 November, 2013, sent to the IPCC by Arthur Scargill.
“To the best of our knowledge, we do not believe the Force has previously been made aware of these complaints.
“The Force will assist the IPCC in any way following their consideration of the content
The IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) have confirmed they recieved a letter from former President of the National Union of Mineworkers, Arthur Scargill, claiming that a "conspiracy file" was being kept on him.
In a statement they said:
We can confirm we have received a letter from Mr Scargill and we are considering it's content
Former President of the National Union of Mineworkers, Arthur Scargill, has sent a letter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) claiming that the police were preparing a "conspiracy file for Scargill", and that his arrest during the "Battle of Orgreave", in 1984, was premeditated:
On or around 5 June 1984...the National Officials of the National Union of Mineworkers...were informed by my Counsel that whilst he and a solicitor had attended police headquarters in Sheffield, South Yorkshire...they had accidentally seen a file marked ‘Scargill Conspiracy File’.
...my Counsel made clear that it was a serious matter if the police were compiling a conspiracy file in relation to me, and advised the three NUM National Officials including myself to adopt a course of action to protect me physically and against any attempt at a ‘stitch-up’ by undercover officers...
...It is a matter of public record that upon my arrival at Orgreave on 30th May, I was arrested within approximately 15 seconds – by Chief Superintendent Nesbit, who admitted in Court on 13th December 1984 I was the only person he had arrested in his position as Chief Superintendent.
It was obvious then and it is obvious now that decisions were taken at the very highest level to arrest me – apparently on any charge – immediately when I arrived at Orgreave Coking Plant on 30 May 1984. In light of this information I feel the IPCC should conduct an investigation...
One of Margaret Thatcher's biggest domestic conflicts came with powerful union boss Arthur Scargill. He clashed bitterly with her during the 1984/85 miners' strike.
Scargill has managed to avoid media attention since Thatcher's death - but now, for the first time, ITV News can reveal his response.
Arthur Scargill was sent a text message by Ken Capstick, the Treasurer of the Socialist Labour Party which read: "Thatcher Dead". As pictured below, back came this equally short reply from Scargill: "SCARGILL ALIVE !"
Former miners' leader Arthur Scargill today learns the result of his High Court fight to have the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) continue to meet the costs of his London flat for his lifetime.
The NUM wants Mr Justice Underhill to declare that it has no such continuing obligation to Mr Scargill, its president until July 2002. There are also disputes about his fuel allowance for his home in Barnsley, the cost of his security system there and the preparation of his annual tax return.
Mr Scargill has occupied the Barbican apartment, rented from the Corporation of London, since June 1982 - and the rent and associated expenses were paid by the union until 2011, except for a period between 1985 and 1991 when he met them.
Mr Scargill has drawn the court's attention to the NUM's practice of providing accommodation in retirement for former full-time national officials.