Live updates

Arthur Scargill claims 'six attempts' on his life

Former miners leader Arthur Scargill claims there were up to six attempts to murder him during the bitter strike.

He made the revelations during a speech in Barnsley last week. After addressing the audience, Mr Scargill gave his first major television interview for almost a decade. He spoke to our reporter, David Hirst.


Public rally to mark Orgreave anniversary

Campaigners are holding a commemoration event to mark the 31st anniversary of the Battle of Orgreave.

Martin Fisher reports from the rally:

Members of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign will gather at the site, with speakers including Yorkshire National Union of Miners president Chris Skidmore.

It comes a week after the police watchdog concluded that South Yorkshire Police won't be investigated over its handling of violent clashes between miners and officers at Orgreave coking plant in 1984.

Other speakers at the event include Kevin Horne, one of the miners who was arrested at Orgreave, and the new Labour MP for Sheffield Heeley, Louise Haigh.

Representatives of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign and Unite the Union are also expected to attend the public rally.

Orgreave campaigners: 'truth has yet come out'

Campaigners are calling for a full public inquiry into the so called "Battle of Orgreave" more than 30 years ago. They claim police used excessive force against pickets during the height of the miners' strike - and also gave false evidence in court.

South Yorkshire Police referred themselves to the Independent Police Complaints Commission over the claims which were made more than two years ago. But the IPCC say because miners who were arrested were later cleared they are not pursuing their inquires. And that has angered those who say the truth has yet to come out. Chris Kiddey reports.

  1. Tyne Tees

North East MP criticises IPCC decision not to investigate Orgreave violence

An injured picket is carried way from the line at the Orgreave coking plant Credit: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A North East MP has criticised a decision by the Police Complaints Commission not to investigate alleged misconduct by officers against picketing miners during the 1984 miners strike.

Labour MP Dave Anderson, who represents Blaydon in Gateshead, used to work as a miner.

He says he was present at the Orgreave plant in Rotherham in Yorkshire where it is alleged officers used "excessive force".

But following a two-year analysis of thousands of pages of documents related to the case, the IPCC said it had decided not to launch an investigation into the conduct of South Yorkshire Police.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, Lab Credit: John Stilwell/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Mr Anderson has described the decision as an establishment cover up by the 'forces of darkness'.

He said: "I'm not surprised by the outcome. It is yet another establishment cover up.

"Innocent people were stitched-up, beaten-up and set-up by the agents of the state and I have no doubt that this is the forces of darkness closing ranks to protect the powers that be that really run this country as opposed to us, who are democratically elected."

Police chief reacts to IPCC's Orgreave decision

South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable David Crompton has released a statement about the police watchdog IPCC decision into the investigation of Orgreave.

Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police David Crompton Credit: Press Association

Chief Constable David Crompton said: “For almost 31 years the actions of the police during the so-called Battle of Orgreave, and its pivotal role in the Miners strike, have divided opinion and created controversy.

“In October 2012, following a BBC documentary, there was renewed criticism of police actions. In the circumstances, I felt it would be inappropriate for South Yorkshire Police to act upon the criticisms by reviewing these events itself. I therefore took the decision that a variety of matters relating to police conduct at the Orgreave coking plant, on 18th June 1984, should be referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) so that a fully independent assessment could take place regarding whether there had been either criminal conduct or disciplinary offences committed by police officers.

“I note the outcome of the in-depth review conducted by the IPCC which concludes that due to both the evidential and public interest considerations in this case there is no requirement for further investigation into these matters.

“Clearly, if any compelling new evidence comes to light regarding police conduct in the future, this is a decision which can be revisited.”


Orgreave: Campaigners reiterate call for inquiry

Campaigners have reiterated the need for a "Hillsborough-style inquiry" into South Yorkshire Police's handling of violence during the 1984 miners' strike after the police watchdog said it would not investigate alleged misconduct by officers.

The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC) has issued the following statement:

Whilst disappointed, OTJC members are not surprised that the IPCC will not be conducting a full investigation into policing at Orgreave on 18 June 1984. It was back in November 2012 that South Yorkshire Police referred itself to the IPCC, which ever since has acted slowly and conducted little independent work in assembling and collating information. The fact that the IPCC, described - rightly in our view - by many prominent individuals as 'not fit for purpose', is stepping aside on Orgreave affairs will not therefore be deterring the OTJC from continuing its campaign. OTJC notes that the IPCC itself recognises in its report the limitations of what the organisation can do and that only a Hillsborough style public inquiry can eventually get to the truth. The OTJC continues to gather increasing support from organisations and individuals for a full public inquiry into why it was that on 18 June 1984, 95 miners were arrested at Orgreave after thousands of police officers - many in riot gear, with others on horseback - brutally assaulted miners participating in a strike aimed at defending jobs and mining communities. An inquiry will help reveal exactly why, when the subsequent court cases took place, all of the charges, including riot were abandoned. It must inevitably lead to two things. Some officers being charged with a series of offences - assault, perjury, perverting the course of justice and misconduct in a public office. Secondly, a paper trail that would indicate that the actions of the police at Orgreave were influenced by political pressure from within the highest ranks of the Government of the day.

– Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC)

Yvette Cooper: IPCC decision a let down for Orgreave families

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has backed calls for an independent inquiry into Orgreave, after the IPCC said it would not investigate South Yorkshire Police.

Yvette Cooper: IPCC decision a let down for Orgreave families Credit: Press Association

"This decision lets down the Orgreave families and shows the weakness of the current system," she said.

"It has taken the IPCC two-and-a-half years to decide not to investigate the events at Orgreave and to conclude that the big questions weren't within their remit or resources. If they are too limited to do the job then someone else needs to.

"For too long there have been serious allegations about the way the miners were treated at Orgreave, but we have never had the truth. It's time for an independent inquiry, potentially modelled in the Hillsborough panel, to open up everything. It's time for the truth."

Load more updates