MP Marie Rimmer recalls her time on miners strike picket line

St Helens MP Marie Rimmer
St Helens MP Marie Rimmer
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St Helens MP Marie Rimmer says an official inquiry into Orgreave will finally shed light on a “dark and pivotal” moment in Britain’s recent history.

Prime minister Theresa May is expected to official that there will be an official probe later this year.

Police  outside the Orgreave Coking Plant near Rotheram during the miners dispute

Police outside the Orgreave Coking Plant near Rotheram during the miners dispute

Welcoming the move, Ms Rimmer said: “On Tuesday, I wrote to the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, in support of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, calling for an inquiry into the events of the June 18, 1984 Battle of Orgreave.

“The miner’s strike has a dark and pivotal role in the history of our community and, as somebody who spent time on the picket line with St Helens’ miners, I remember just how devastating a time it was.

“Nothing will make amends for the brutal treatment of the 95 miners who were beaten, arrested and framed by South Yorkshire Police during the Battle of Orgreave.

“However, the result of the recent Hillsborough inquest shows just how healing it can be for the communities involved to bring the truth out into the open.

“I am delighted that it has been announced today that an inquiry will be held and hope that justice will be done when the 95 have their day in court.”

A delegation from the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC) met Home Secretary Amber Rudd on Tuesday to press the case for an inquiry.

The Government will review the so-called Battle of Orgreave but the format is yet to be decided. Ms Rudd is set to appoint a lawyer in October to assess material relating to the trouble, according to The Times.

She wants to push ahead with an investigation that delivers answers that are “complete” but does not want “something that could drag on for years”, a source told the newspaper.

Shadow home secretary Andy Burnham, who has campaigned on the issue, said reports that an inquiry would go ahead were “encouraging”. Around 6,000 officers, many with riot gear, horses and dogs, are alleged to have used excessive force to suppress a miners’ strike at Orgreave coking works in South Yorkshire.

Former policeman Mike Freeman has told how officers were ordered to write statements for arrests they had not made while veteran Labour MP Dennis Skinner said he saw “dogs and horses” being set on picketers.

A total of 95 miners were charged following the clashes at the plant between Sheffield and Rotherham but their trial collapsed.

South Yorkshire Police referred itself to the IPCC in 2012 over allegations officers colluded to write court statements. The watchdog later said the passage of time prevented a formal investigation, but that there was ‘’support’’ for the allegation that senior police exaggerated pickets’ use of violence.