Council votes to write to government calling for Orgreave inquiry after heated debate

By Chris Young

Council votes to write to government calling for Orgreave inquiry after heated debate

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A MOTION for Bradford Council to officially call for a public inquiry into the Battle of Orgreave led to heated scenes in City Hall tonight.

Councillor Richard Dunbar, (Lab, Thornton and Allerton) had tabled the motion, and members of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign attended the meeting to hear the debate.

Cllr Dunbar called for "cross party support" for the council to write to Home Secretary Amber Rudd asking for a public inquiry into the actions of the police at the Orgreave Coking Plant in June 1984 during the miners’ strike, when police were accused of heavy handed tactics. Several other Yorkshire councils have backed the campaign.

He told the council: "As public servants we have a duty to seek justice wherever injustice rears its ugly head.

"This motion is Bradford’s show of solidarity with those who suffered at Orgreave, some of those people reside in Bradford, and sends a clear message to authorities that the pursuit of justice cannot and will not be forgotten by time."

However, the motion was criticised by some on the council. 

Councillor Mike Pollard (Cons, Baildon) said: "It is in the remit of historians rather than the judiciary, and that is where it should remain.

"This motion is completely vacuous and a waste of this chamber's time. It is wholly irrelevant to the issues we face in Bradford."

Councillor David Ward (Lib Dem, Bolton and Undercliffe) said the motion seemed "self indulgent."

However, the motion passed, with Labour councillors voting for it, Conservatives opposing and Liberal Democrats abstaining.