The government has rejected calls for an inquiry into the behaviour of police officers during the Battle of Orgreave, which took place more than 30 years ago. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said she does not believe there needs to be "any kind of inquiry" into how South Yorkshire Police acted during the clashes between officers and striking miners in July 1984.
More than 70 officers and 50 strikers were injured during some of the largest and most harrowing scenes of violence throughout the entire Miners' Strike.
South Yorkshire Police, who were responsible for the cover-up seen in the Hillsborough Disaster that left 96 Liverpool fans dead, were accused of a series of misconduct allegations, including being told what to write in their witness reports and using excessive levels of violence against the miners.
The force voluntarily referred the case to the IPCC in 2012 but, in 2015, the watchdog said the passage of time means that allegations could not be pursued.
Campaigners have for years urged the government to launch a Hillsborough-style public inquiry into what happened at the Orgreave Coking Plant. Following what she described as a "difficult decision to make", Rudd has ruled there will be no statutory inquiry or an independent review.
Rudd said: "I know that this decision will come as a significant disappointment to the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign and its supporters.
"Despite the forceful accounts and arguments provided by the campaigners and former miners who were present that day, about the effect that these events have had on them, ultimately there were no deaths or wrongful convictions.
"The campaigners say that had the consequences of the events at Orgreave been addressed properly at the time, the tragic events at Hillsborough would never have happened five years later. That is not a conclusion which I believe can be reached with any certainty."
Rudd added: "Over 30 years later, policing is very different and one of my key concerns as Home Secretary is to ensure there is a policing system which works effectively and fairly now. The policing landscape has changed fundamentally since 1984 – at the political, legislative and operational levels. The same is true also for the wider criminal justice system.
"There would therefore be very few lessons for the policing system today to be learned from any review of the events and practices of three decades ago. This is a very important consideration when looking at the necessity for an inquiry or independent review and the public interest to be derived from holding one.
"Taking these considerations into account, I do not believe that establishing any kind of inquiry is required to allay public concerns or for any other reason."
Labour's Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott MP was one of those who demanded an inquiry into Orgreave. She said: "We now know that South Yorkshire Police lied about what happened at Hillsborough when 96 football fans died. They were framed in the most disgraceful way and a mass cover-up aimed to hide police failings.
"Yet only five years earlier the same police force, with many of the same commanders, did the same at Orgreave during the miners' dispute. They need the same justice. They need the same independent type of Inquiry to establish the truth. It would be shameful if this Government offered anything less."
Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said he is "shocked and dismayed" by the decsion from the government . He said: "The government have marched the Campaign for Truth and Justice to the top of the hill only to march them down again.
"I am not convinced by the reasons given for refusing an investigation. No one has ever suggested that the events of Orgreave were comparable in every respect to the disaster at Hillsborough. But the former miners and the former mining communities in South Yorkshire deserve an explanation as to what happened on that day and where Orgreave fits in the wider story of the miners' strike.
"I believe the government has shied away from agreeing an enquiry because of those wider issues.
Billings added: "This was a critical moment for the police service in South Yorkshire. It could have shown that it had really learned lessons of past mistakes and was ready to co-operate fully with any enquiry. We wanted to see a new era of openness with no attempt to be self-justifying or defensive."