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  1. National

Orgreave: Miners and families 'deserve to know truth'

Dr Alan Billings said he was Credit: PA

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings said he was "shocked and dismayed" by the Government's decision not to hold an inquiry into the Battle of Orgreave.

He said the "former miners and their families deserved to know the truth about what happened that day".

Dr Billings said: "The government have marched the Campaign for Truth and Justice to the top of the hill only to march them down again.

"No one has ever suggested that the events of Orgreave were comparable in every respect to the disaster at Hillsborough.

"But the former miners and the former mining communities in South Yorkshire deserve an explanation as to what happened on that day and where Orgreave fits in the wider story of the miners' strike.

"I believe the government has shied away from agreeing an inquiry because of those wider issues."

Dr Billings said South Yorkshire Police were "ready to co-operate" with an inquiry.

"This was a critical moment for the police service in South Yorkshire. It could have shown that it had really learned lessons of past mistakes and was ready to co-operate fully with any inquiry.

"We wanted to see a new era of openness with no attempt to be self-justifying or defensive," he said.

  1. National

Orgreave announcement provokes fury from Labour MPs

Amber Rudd said there would be no inquiry into the Battle of Orgreave. Credit: PA

Labour MPs reacted angrily to the Home Secretary Amber Rudd's decision not to hold an inquiry into the Battle of Orgreave.

Louise Haigh, MP for Sheffield Heeley, who first raised demands for an inquiry with then home secretary Theresa May in a 2015 letter signed by more than 100 Labour colleagues, said it was a "disgraceful betrayal of justice".

She said: "The Home Secretary today has put a screeching brake on the search for truth.

"For many communities in South Yorkshire the question of how police forces from across the country - not just South Yorkshire - which are supposed to be there to serve them could be used against them in such a brutal, deliberate way has left a bitter legacy. This decision will exacerbate that."

Senior backbencher and Leeds Central MP Hilary Benn said: "It's time the truth was told and the Government is failing in its responsibility by ruling out an inquiry."

Aberavon MP Stephen Kinnock branded Ms Rudd's decision an "absolute disgrace", while Barnsley MP Michael Dugher said it was "a complete betrayal of campaigners and a spit in the face for every former coalfield community".

Mr Dugher described the announcement as "a political decision to protect the interests of the Tory party".

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