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Ministers may have misled Parliament with claims that the Independent Police Complaints Commission warned against an inquiry into policing at Orgreave, Andy Burnham revealed in the Commons today. 

The Police watchdog confirmed to Labour that it had not advised against an Inquiry at this time - casting major doubt over a Ministerial statement in the Lords last week.

During an Urgent Question in the Commons this lunchtime, the Shadow Home Secretary accused the Government of shunting calls for the inquiry into the long grass. Burnham called on the new Home Secretary Amber Rudd to correct the misleading impression given to Parliament.

The so-called Battle of Orgreave in 1984 was brought back into the public eye following the Hillsborough Inquest verdicts in April this year. 

Last Wednesday, Government Minister Lord Keen told the House of Lords that "the IPCC told Home Office officials that if it announced any action to set up an inquiry or other investigation relating to Orgreave, it would have an impact on the Hillsborough investigation. It is for that reason that the decision will be taken only once that part has been concluded."

However, the Deputy Chair of the IPCC later confirmed that “the IPCC has not taken or offered any position on whether there should be a public inquiry into the events at Orgreave during the miners' strike. That is a decision that is entirely a matter for the Home Secretary."

A report published last year by the IPCC found that senior officers had made untrue statements.

In December 2015, Theresa May received a legal submission from the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign after offering to consider a public inquiry. 

On the same afternoon as the Minister’s comments in the Lords, the Campaign received confirmation that the Government will not be proceeding with the inquiry until the Hillsborough investigations are complete.

Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, said:

“The miners' strike, and the so-called Battle of Orgreave, remains one of the most contested periods in our nation's history when, in the words of one former Chief Constable, the police were ‘an army of occupation’.

"At the very same as our new PM was on the steps of Downing St last week promising to ‘fight injustice’, one of her Ministers was announcing her last decision as Home Secretary which was to shunt Orgreave into the long grass.

“The Home Secretary should correct the misleading impression given to Parliament that the IPCC had advised the Home Office against the establishment of an Inquiry at this time.

“There is no reason whatsoever why on-going Hillsborough investigations should delay an Orgreave Inquiry and, that in similar situations, it is commonplace for the Home Office protections to be put in place to manage any risks.

“The Home Secretary today should do the right thing, restore damaged trust in coalfield communities amongst people who have already waited more than 30 years for the truth and order a full public inquiry into Orgreave.”

Ministers accused of misleading Parliament over Orgreave inquiry

Ministers may have misled Parliament with claims that the Independent Police Complaints Commission warned against an inquiry into policing at Orgreave, Andy Burnham revealed in the Commons today.  The Police...

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Bradford Labour group has this evening elected Susan Hinchcliffe as its new leader, backing her pledge to increase Bradford’s national profile and build strong ties with other major cities.

After outgoing leader David Green completed his four-year term, the Windhill and Wrose councillor was successful in a leadership ballot at a Labour group AGM this evening.

She will be formally nominated as Council Leader at the Council AGM on 17th May.

Strong local election results last week saw Labour increase its majority on Bradford Council.

Susan Hinchcliffe said:

“I’m hugely proud to have been chosen by my fellow Labour councillors to lead my home city at this challenging but exciting time.

“I want to pay tribute to the work of my predecessor Cllr Dave Green. He took on the mantle of leadership at an extremely difficult time for our Party and brought about major change and significant improvements for our district – he stands down with Bradford in far, far better shape than when he became leader.

“Now I want to take us to the next level. As a Bradfordian who has had great opportunities from a comprehensive education and upbringing here, I want even better for future generations.

“I want Bradford to fulfil our potential - to be known for our distinct brand of energy, diversity and entrepreneurialism.

“I want us to have strong ties with other major cities and increase our national positive profile.

“We know more disproportionate and damaging cuts are on their way from David Cameron’s Tory government and I’ll stand up against them, but we can’t stand by and wait for a change in Westminster. Bradford needs to punch above its weight now on the regional and national stage, and that’s what I’ll aim to provide in my leadership.”

Bradford Labour elect Susan Hinchcliffe as new Leader

    Bradford Labour group has this evening elected Susan Hinchcliffe as its new leader, backing her pledge to increase Bradford’s national profile and build strong ties with other major...

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Gill Furniss, Labour’s candidate in the Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough by-election, has urged women across the constituency not currently on the electoral roll to mark International Women’s Day by registering to vote.

Women make up over half the population but at the General Election last year over a third of eligible women didn’t vote.

Women are more likely to work for less pay than men. More women work part-time and in low paid sectors, and are disproportionately affected by cuts to public services. The gender pay gap means that women in the UK take home just 81p for every £1 a man earns. This is well below the EU average - and at the current rate it will be another 47 years until the gap is closed!

Gill Furniss said:

“We owe a huge amount to the suffragettes a century ago who campaigned so hard for women to have the right to vote, but today too many of us don’t see the point in voting and are disengaged with our democratic process.

“Us women make up over half the population – if we all voted we could decide the outcome of an election by ourselves!

“Women across Brightside and Hillsborough are struggling to make ends meet as Tory cuts hit us even harder than men. Between 2010 and 2020, 81% of the savings made to the Treasury through tax and benefit changes will have come from the pockets of women.

“The Tories are content to ignore the effect their policies have had on women. In order to make them sit up and take notice, it is vital that women register to vote and make sure their voices are heard in this by-election, to send a strong woman Labour MP to parliament.”

 

Make sure you have your say - mark International Women's Day by registering to vote, says Furniss

Gill Furniss, Labour’s candidate in the Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough by-election, has urged women across the constituency not currently on the electoral roll to mark International Women’s Day by registering...

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