Ed Miliband has called for a “proper investigation” into police conduct during the bloody confrontation at Orgreave during the 1984-85 miners' strike.
The 'Battle of Orgreave' saw thousands of police violently confront picketing miners in South Yorkshire, leading to many injuries. Almost a hundred pickets were then arrested and charged with riot, unlawful assembly and other offences. However, when the cases came to trial, all collapsed and were dropped, undermined by fabricated or non-existent evidence.
Since then, campaigners have been waging a long fight for justice for the miners and their supporters who were physically beaten, maligned in the press and fitted up in court. On 14 June, a mass picnic and festival was held at Orgreave to commemorate the event.
For decades, the Labour Party has been half-hearted at best in its support. The Labour leaders’ new statement is a significant step forward — presumably the passage of time and the overwhelming weight of evidence has made criticism of the South Yorkshire police safe enough even for Miliband.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission says it is still “scoping” evidence for an investigation.