"Betrayal of justice" Louise Haigh condemns Home Secretary over Orgreave

“Betrayal of justice” Louise Haigh denounces Home Secretary’s decision not to call an inquiry

Louise Haigh, Member of Parliament for Sheffield Heeley, whose letter to the then Home Secretary Theresa May in June 2015 signed by over one hundred of her Labour colleagues, kick-started the dialogue with the Government has denounced the Home Secretary’s decision not to launch an inquiry of any kind.

The decision has shocked campaigners after the Home Secretary led families & campaigners up the garden path before denying any form or inquiry or review at all. The former Employment Minister for Margaret Thatcher, Sir Peter Bottomley and the Prime Minister’s Joint Chief of Staff have both called for an inquiry.

Ms Haigh who chaired the latest meeting with the new Home Secretary in late September argued that an inquiry was needed in order that trust between communities and police forces can be restored.

This decision throws the search for truth into serious doubt after South Yorkshire Police had employed an archivist to release all files pertaining to Orgreave, and police forces across the country were similarly asked to release files. Furthermore, the operational orders of that day, which have never seen the light of day and which could shed light on the events of that day remain closed.

A review of the Orgreave prosecution court papers by the Independent Police Complaints Commission reported last June that there was evidence of excessive violence by police officers, a false narrative from police exaggerating violence by miners, perjury by officers giving evidence to prosecute the arrested men, and an apparent cover-up of that perjury by senior officers. 

Commenting, Louise Haigh MP said:
“This is a disgraceful betrayal of justice by the Home Secretary. She has led campaigners up the garden path only to deny justice at the 11th hour”.

“The IPCC found evidence of violence by police officers, a false narrative from police exaggerating violence, perjury by officers giving evidence and an apparent cover-up by senior officers.”

“That evidence exists and further evidence such as the operational orders of the day have never come to light and the decision not even to commit to an independent review & release of all the evidence amounts to a shameful stitch up."

 “For the truth to out, all records pertaining to Orgreave from police forces across the country must be released and there must be an independent reviewer to oversee it and to establish what the new evidence adds to public understanding. It is astonishing that after the IPCC, the South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable, the SYPCC and politicians from across the political spectrum all called for the truth that the Home Secretary today has decided to put a screeching break on the search for truth.”

“For many communities in South Yorkshire the question of how police forces from across the country – not just South Yorkshire – which are supposed to be there to serve them could be used against them in such a brutal, deliberate way has left a bitter legacy. This decision will exacerbate that.”