Fresh calls for public inquiry into Miners’ Strike as 30th anniversary marked

Fresh calls have been made for a public inquiry into the Miners’ Strike on the 30th anniversary of the end of the historic dispute.


Embargoed to 0001 Monday March 2

File photo dated 12/04/84 of blood on the face of a policeman as his colleagues lead away a picket from outside the NUM HQ in Sheffield during the miners' dispute, as the miners' strike started in Yorkshire in early March 1984 and within days half the country's mineworkers had walked out in protest at pit closures. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday March 2, 2015. The dispute rapidly escalated, with 8,000 police officers drafted into Nottinghamshire, the county which became one of the fiercest battlegrounds as some miners continued to work, arguing there should have been a ballot. See PA story INDUSTRY Miners Background. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

Labour MP Ian Lavery, a former president of the National Union of Mineworkers, said it was ‘outrageous’ that an inquiry had not been held, given that so many workers were ‘wrongly’ arrested or convicted.

Last year, government papers released by the National Archives revealed that Margaret Thatcher secretly considered calling in the troops at the height of the strike.

Mr Lavery said: “There should be an independent inquiry, covering the policing of the strike in every town and village as well as at Orgreave. 

“Mining areas up and down the country were ravaged by the pit closures and many are yet to recover, but passions have not waned, and in 100 years time I am sure people will say their great-grandfather was a miner and was proud to have taken part in the strike.”

The call comes as it was announced banners made to mark the end of the Miners’ Strike are to go on display later this month.

Tens of thousands of mineworkers marched back to their local pit 12 months after the start of the walkout over closures, many holding specially made banners portraying their solidarity after such a long time out of work.

Many will be on display at Wakefield’s Unity Works on March 7 under the title With Banners Held High, during a day of special events to remember the end of the strike.

Events to remember the March 3 anniversary are being held with the prospect of the UK having no deep pits by next year.

Just three underground collieries remain, but two of these - Kellingley in Yorkshire and Thoresby in Nottinghamshire - could close by the end of the year, and the third, Hatfield in Doncaster, may shut by mid 2016.

If the closure happen, coal will still be burnt in power stations across the UK, but imported from other countries.