CAMPAIGNERS staged a noisy demonstration outside the Home Office to step up calls for an inquiry into the policing of picketing during the miners’ strike in the 1980s.

The so-called Battle of Orgreave saw police deploy horseback charges and baton-wielding snatch squads as 6000 officers from around the country attempted to prevent striking miners from blocking deliveries at a South Yorkshire coking plant in 1984.

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

Hundreds of trade unionists, supporters and former miners joined the protest outside the Home Office in Westminster. Politicians including shadow home secretary Diane Abbott also took part.

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.”

Rollin read out a series of statistics from the year-long dispute. A total of 165,000 miners went on strike, 11,313 were arrested, 7000 were injured and 960 sacked.

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

Newly declassified files published last week showed Margaret Thatcher’s government feared a witch-hunt would ensue if a public inquiry was held into policing during the strike.

The documents were released after Home Secretary Amber Rudd ruled out an inquiry. Further files are expected to be made public.

Diane Abbott said: “Labour fully support the demand for justice for the striking miners at Orgreave and their families. We have consistently argued you can’t understand what happened at Hillsborough unless you get to the bottom of Orgreave.

“It was the same force, the same leadership and very similar methods were used in the aftermath.”