On Monday, Home Secretary Amber Rudd rejected plans to set up an inquiry into the violence between police and coal miners at the infamous 1984 ‘Battle of Orgreave’.
Miners and riot police clashed outside a coking plant in Yorkshire following nationwide industrial action in an attempt to shut down the British coal industry. They were protesting the closure of collieries, which put some 20,000 miners out of work.
Campaigners fought to open a government inquiry into police’s excessive use of violence, but Rudd has concluded that there is no basis for an ‘independent inquiry or a statutory review’.
Despite the fact that the Independent Police Complaints Commission found evidence of perjury and perversion of the course of justice, Rudd insists that looking into what happened is 'not in the public interest’:
I believe that we should focus on continuing to ensure that the policing system is the best it can be for the future, including through reforms before Parliament in the Policing and Crime Bill, so that we can have the best possible policing both in South Yorkshire and across the country.
Rudd's attempts to brush criticism under the carpet, however, might have failed.
Barrister Michael Mansfield, who represents some of the Orgreave Truth and Justice campaigners, not only called her unprepared for questions but said her decision was ‘disrespectful’. He told BBC Radio 4 a judicial review of her decision is being ‘actively considered’ by the campaign.