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Miners to gather at Holyrood for statement on policing of the 1984-85 strike

Bob Young (left) and Tom Adams had called for a Scottish public inquiry.
Bob Young (left) and Tom Adams had called for a Scottish public inquiry.

Scotland’s Justice Minister is poised to make an announcement on the impact of policing during the miners’ strike.

Michael Matheson will address the Scottish Parliament on Thursday afternoon.

It is not yet known what he will say but former miners are hoping he will officially announce a full inquiry following years of pressure from campaign groups, including the National Union of Mineworkers.

Dozens of miners from across Fife and beyond are expected to gather at Holyrood ahead of the statement.

In 2016, Fife Council became the second local authority in the country to request a Scottish Government investigation into the policing of the strike more than three decades ago.

Councillors said they hoped a Scottish inquiry would be a first step on the road to justice for hundreds of former miners who believe they were wrongly arrested, sacked and blacklisted during the bitter dispute.

Former Labour councillors Tom Adams and Bob Young will be among the ex-miners going to the Parliament to hear Mr Matheson’s statement.

Mr Adams said notification of the announcement had come out of the blue.

“Nobody knew anything about it,” he said.

“I don’t know what he’s going to say but we’re hoping he’ll come out with something positive.

“My gut feeling is he’ll just whitewash it but hopefully it will be a positive statement.”

Mr Adams received cross-party support at a full Fife Council meeting two years ago when he put forward a motion calling on the local authority to officially request an inquiry into the policing of the strike.

He said it would “shine a light of truth” on policing in Scotland.

“Scotland has an opportunity to lead the way in getting to the truth and providing justice for the miners who believe they were victims of a miscarriage of justice,” he said.

The council motion came just weeks after the UK Government rejected calls for an investigation into the so-called Battle of Orgreave in West Yorkshire, which saw ugly clashes between pickets and police.

 

 

 

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