Home Office Orgreave files due to be released next year

Miners and police were involved in violent clashes at Orgreave in 1984. Credit: PA

Goverment documents relating to events at the so-called Battle of Orgreave are due to be released next year among other records relating to the 1984 miners' strike, it has emerged.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd told the Home Affairs Select Committee the documents would be among 30 files planned to be released to the National Archives.

The clash between police and strikers at the Orgreave coking works in Yorkshire became one of the bloodiest events of the dispute.

Riot police watch as demonstrators face them at Orgreave in 1984. Credit: PA

A further three files are said to be under consideration for release by the Home Office.

In a letter to the committee, Ms Rudd said: "We intend to transfer all 30 of the remaining Home Office files to the National Archives, and are working to complete this as quickly as possible. The files should be publicly available at the National Archives in the first half of 2017."

The Home Secretary came under fire from campaigners when she announced in October that there would not be a parliamentary inquiry into the events at Orgreave

Amber Rudd has faced criticism from members of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign. Credit: PA

Vera Baird, police and crime commissioner of Northumbria Police and a former Labour MP for Redcar, who acted for miners when she was a barrister, previously said she was "concerned" that the Home Office was still holding the files in light of Ms Rudd's decision.

  • What was the Battle of Orgreave?

The National Union of Mineworkers organised a mass picket at Orgreave on 18 June 1984 to prevent deliveries of coal arriving at the coking plant.

Police deployed horseback charges and 6,000 officers from around the country in an attempt to stop the miners blocking the deliveries.

Mounted police were involved in the clash with the miners. Credit: ITV

As violence erupted on both sides, mounted police forced the miners up a field as stones and missiles were thrown.

Around 95 people were charged with riot and violent disorder, but cases collapsed and South Yorkshire Police were later required to pay compensation.

There are still many answers sought over events at Orgreave. Credit: PA

Yvette Cooper, chairwoman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said: "The committee wants to establish what information on Orgreave the Government and police still have that has never been published. The Home Secretary's agreement to make public 30 further files on Orgreave is welcome.

"We are seeking further information and I have now written to a further 18 police forces involved in policing the incident to ask what related written information they hold which is not in the public domain. I have specifically asked the Metropolitan Police whether they hold the operational policing plan for Orgreave."