Call for release of secret miners’ strike documents

1984: A picket inspecting a line of police officers outside the Orgreave coking plant near Rotherham.
1984: A picket inspecting a line of police officers outside the Orgreave coking plant near Rotherham.
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SECRET GOVERNMENT documents detailing how ministers dealt with the miners’ strike should finally be released, Labour MPs have said.

Opposition MPs have accused ministers of seeking to hide the facts behind the 1980s strike after cabinet papers released last year showed the Government had always planned for higher number of closures than publicly acknowledged.

Labour’s Ian Lavery, a former head of the National Union of Mineworkers, asked Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude: “What’s the Government got to hide with regard to the miners’ strike?

“Can you say when the documents that haven’t been released will be released and will they be released unredacted?”

Certain files have also recently been published by the National Archives at Kew, west London, which revealed the Government tapped NUM members’ phones.

Mr Maude replied there was no plan for any extra releases.

“This was a very bitter period in our nation’s life but the normal considerations about the protection of personal papers must be followed,” he said.