Vera Baird DBE KC

Writer, Lecturer, Parliamentary Consultant and Co-Director of Astraea: Gender Justice

Miliband calls for “proper intervention” into police conduct during the Orgreave miners clash

Labour Leader, Ed Miliband and Vera Baird – Calling for Answers.

From Labourlist –

The Guardian has reported today that Miliband has become one of the most senior politicians to call for a “proper investigation” into the confrontation between police and miners at Orgreave – known as the Battle of Orgreave

Thirty years after the clashes between police and miners at Orgreave, the drive to push for a full investigation into alleged police alleged misconduct both during and after the incident continues. The police are accused of physically assaulting miners, lying under oath and perverting the course of justice when it came to the prosecution of 95 miners.

In light of these accusations, in November 2012 the South Yorkshire police referred themselves to the Independent Police and Complaints Commission (IPCC). But over a year and a half later and the IPCC says they’re still “scoping” existing evidence so they can decide whether they’ll hold a full investigation

Miliband, speaking to miners and representatives from Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign at Hatfield Main colliery in his Doncaster constituency, recently described the miner’s strike as a “just cause”. He went on to call for a full investigation into the polices actions:

“You were fighting for justice, for your community, for equality, for all the things that mattered.

The values you fought for are the values that we have to take forward for the future.

Very specifically, there does need to be a proper investigation about what happened at Orgreave. We support that proper investigation taking place, as a matter of truth and a matter of justice.”

A Labour party spokeperson further explained what a “proper investigation” meant: “The IPCC is looking into whether they should investigate. We want them to do the right thing.”

Northumbria’s police and crime commissioner Vera Baird QC echoed Miliband’s sentiments. Speaking with the the Observer she said:

“The IPCC is running out of time for trust to be sustained. One wants to have faith in the publicly established statutory organisation that investigates complaints against the police, but it’s impossible not to ask yourself: ‘What’s keeping them?’”

Miliband’s bold stance is surely a welcome one, particularly for the miners and their families directly involved in and affected by the clashes – after thirty years it’s about time the matter was investigated thoroughly.