Calls for Orgreave inquiry after claims over police links with Hillsborough

Links between individuals involved in South Yorkshire Police's (SYP) investigations into the Battle of Orgreave and the Hillsborough disaster strengthen the case for a public inquiry into the infamous confrontation of the 1984 miners' strike, campaigners have said.

The Hillsborough Inquests outlined how a solicitor, Peter Metcalf, was involved in both investigations, in addition to two senior officers - Deputy Chief Constable Peter Hayes and Assistant Chief Constable Walter Jackson.

The 'Battle of Orgeave' in 1984. Credit: PA

Campaigners say SYP created a story favourable to itself at Orgreave, as it did in the aftermath of the FA Cup semi final disaster in 1989.

The disturbances at the Rotherham coking plant in June 1984 led to 95 miners being charged, but the cases collapsed after the validity of the police accounts was questioned.

  • Why weren't the links discussed at the Hillsborough Inquests?

During the inquests, coroner Sir John Goldring decided not to allow questioning about what happened at Orgreave for fear that it would divert attention away from what happened at Hillsborough, arguing that it would open a "Pandora's box".

But Sir John also said:

South Yorkshire police assemble before the 'Battle of Orgreave'. Credit: ITV

Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign Secretary Barbara Jackson said she believes the evidence of links between the investigation of both events and some of the individuals involved cannot be ignored.

A sea of police helmets faced the miners pickets outside the Orgreave coking plant Credit: PA

South Yorkshire Police referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) in 2012 over allegations that officers colluded to write court statements relating to Orgreave.

The watchdog later said a formal investigation had been prevented by the passage of time but said there was "support" for the allegation that senior police exaggerated pickets' use of violence.

Earlier this month the IPCC said that it is now considering whether an unredacted version of its report into Orgreave can now be made public.