Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham expressed anger at the claim, made in a book by the wife of a Tory MP
Senior Tories rejected an inquiry into the Battle of Orgreave because it would tarnish Margaret Thatcher’s memory, it has been claimed.
Boris Johnson ’s party descended on Manchester this week for their annual conference.
But the city’s metro mayor, Andy Burnham, expressed anger at the revelation, which contradicts the Government’s official reasons for blocking a probe.
Pitmen have spent three decades demanding an inquiry into cops’ actions at the infamous clash at the height of the Miners’ Strike.
Violence flared between officers and pickets at the South Yorkshire coking plant on June 18, 1984.
Mounted police launched horseback charges and baton-wielding “snatch squads” as 6,000 officers tried to prevent striking colliers blocking deliveries to the plant.
South Yorkshire Police received heavy criticism over its conduct.
A total of 95 miners were charged with rioting.
Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
But none was successfully prosecuted after the first cases collapsed through unreliable evidence.
Former miners and their families demanded a Hillsborough-style probe to look at how South Yorkshire Police – the same force involved at Hillsborough – behaved before, during and after the 1984 Battle.
In 2016, Amber Rudd, then Home Secretary, rejected a formal inquiry, saying there was “not a sufficient basis” for a review.
But a book by the wife of a Tory MP claims the real reason Ms Rudd scrapped the probe was because it would “slur the memory of Thatcher” and upset party members.
Sasha Swire, the wife of Tory MP Hugo Swire, says Ms Rudd made the admission during a “kitchen supper” on September 20, 2016 – shortly after Ms Rudd was promoted to Home Secretary by Theresa May.
She wrote: “She tells me she loves all the James Bond stuff, the MI5 and MI6 briefings.
“But Amber’s immediate concern is the number of potential inquiries that need decisions on whether they go ahead. Most of them she inherited from her predecessor, who kicked them into the long grass.
“Orgreave would slur the memory of Thatcher and the party won’t like it.
The revelation was spotted by Mr Burnham, who said: “It’s kind of an interesting and quite revealing read because it does reveal how this country is run, and how the other half who are running the country are living.”
He added: “We suspected it at the time. In the House of Commons she said we wouldn’t have an inquiry into Orgreave because nobody died.
“Actually, behind closed doors it was about ‘Margaret’s legacy being tarnished’, and that’s why everybody needs to continue to support the Orgreave Truth and Justice campaign, because that will tell you how this country is run.”
A spokesperson for the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign said: “We believe that Amber Rudd refused an Orgreave Inquiry because she was pressured by the establishment and heavily influenced by Tory ministers from the Thatcher era who would rather cover up the past than reveal and admit the wrongdoings of the past.
“The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign had corresponded and met with Rudd before she denied an Orgreave Inquiry.
“At that meeting she implied there would be some type of inquiry but had not decided what form that inquiry would take.”
The group continues to campaign for a public inquiry.