CAMPAIGNERS have staged a noisy demonstration outside the Home Office to step up calls for an inquiry into the so-called Battle of Orgreave which involved many North-East miners.

The flashpoint at a South Yorkshire coking plant in 1984 saw police deploy horseback charges and baton-wielding snatch squads as 6,000 officers from around the country attempted to prevent striking miners from blocking deliveries.

Some 95 people were charged with riot and violent disorder, but cases collapsed and South Yorkshire Police were later required to pay compensation.

Wansbeck Labour MP Ian Lavery, who joined the protest, said: “We are here together with the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign and their followers to remind to remind the Home Office that we as mining communities and families demand an independent inquiry into Orgreave during the 1984/85 dispute.

“We were right then and we are right now.”

As a qualified barrister, the now Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird, successfully defended many North-East miners in court cases arising from the incident.

Yesterday hundreds of trade unionists, supporters and former miners joined the protest outside the Home Office in Westminster, as well as politicians including Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott.

Dubbed the Make A Noise protest, they blew whistles and horns and banged drums.

Joe Rollin, an official with the Unite union, who chairs the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, told the crowd: “We want to send a clear message to the Home Secretary and the Tories that we aren’t going away and that our fight for the truth will go on.

“We know why the police acted as they did on that day – they wanted to send a message to the trade union movement.

“Our communities have lived with the consequences ever since.”

Mr Rollin read out a series of statistics from the year-long strike, including 165,000 miners on strike, 11,313 arrested, 7,000 injured and 960 sacked.

Chris Skidmore, Yorkshire area chairman of the National Union of Mineworkers, said: “We want to heighten awareness of what happened and the justice of our case for an inquiry.”