MP slams watchdog over failure to launch inquiry into Orgreave clash

SHADOW HOME Secretary Yvette Cooper has delivered a damning verdict on police watchdogs over their failure to launch a full inquiry into the Orgreave miners’ clash, 30 years to the day of the most violent episode which took place during the national strike.

Yvette Cooper
Yvette Cooper

The Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford MP has branded the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) unfit for purpose after 18 months of stalling over whether it will investigate alleged police malpractice during a strike at the coking plant in 1984.

Leaders of the IPCC have failed to commit to a full inquiry since the case was referred to them in November 2012, when allegations the government had attempted to influence police tactics and officers involved in the events were told what to write in their statements came to light.

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Writing in today’s edition of The Yorkshire Post, Ms Cooper echoed Labour leader Ed Miliband’s call earlier this week for a full investigation.

She said: “South Yorkshire Police asked the IPCC to look into the allegations. I called on the IPCC to do an inquiry.

“But since then we have had silence. The IPCC haven’t even decided whether to investigate or not. How on earth can it take them 18 months even to make up their minds whether to look into it or not? This isn’t fair on the Orgreave miners, the local community or the police.

“Repeatedly we have called on Ministers to reform or replace the IPCC because it just isn’t doing its job.”