Collusion over miners’ strike evidence ‘as bad as cover-up scandal’
Bassetlaw MP John Mann said the way official police statements were allegedly changed after the infamous battles at Orgreave coking plant near Rotherham was “a prelude” to the force’s doctoring of more than 170 statements related to Hillsborough, five years later.
South Yorkshire Police said yesterday it will consider whether to review its role in the prosecutions that arose from Orgreave after a BBC documentary made serious allegations that some police involved colluded when they wrote their statements.
The BBC said it has obtained copies of around 100 police witness statements showing how numerous officers used identical phrases to describe supposed violence by the miners.
Vera Baird QC, who represented Orgreave miners in court, said: “I was frankly shocked by Orgreave, by the deliberate nature of putting together this case.”
Speaking in last night’s Commons debate on Hillsborough, Mr Mann said: “What happened at Orgreave was a comparable cover-up of statements made by police.”
The MP added: “One of them has been prepared to spell out exactly what happened and who did what, and I salute his courage in doing so.”
The culture that came from what happened in the aftermath of Orgreave by the same police service, by the same chief constable, was a prelude to what happened with the cover-up at Hillsborough five years later.”