Hi folks please see below – great news – Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont today called for the SNP government to review the convictions of miners arrested during the 1984/85 miners’ strike and announced that an incoming Labour government will do so if the SNP fail to act. See press release below.
News from Scottish Labour Immediate release – Wednesday 29th January On the day Alex Rowley MSP was sworn in to represent the mining communities of Fife, Scottish Labour is calling for the Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill to take urgent action and review the convictions of the hundreds of miners who were jailed during the miners’ strikes in the 1980s. Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont said: “The more information that we see coming forward on the Miners’ Strike, the more questions are raised. In Scotland the level of arrests was proportionality much higher than in the rest of the UK and many of those affected believe they were victims of a miscarriage of justice. The next Scottish Labour Government would hold an inquiry into the strike in Scotland straight away and I urge Kenny MacAskill to do the honourable thing and commit to holding a review now.” Scottish Labour politicians Neil Findlay MSP and David Hamilton MP have previously written to both Police Scotland and Kenny MacAskill to call for a review into the convictions but they have so far failed to do so. They have now launched a campaign for action which has received over 1000 signatures of support. Mr Findlay said: “The blame for the disgraceful way these working men were treated lies squarely at the door of the Thatcher government who we now know secretly planned to close 75 pits at a loss of 65,000 jobs. However the SNP has a duty as the Scottish government of the day to look into these convictions and they must do so now. “After revelations which showed that South Yorkshire Police fabricated and duplicated statements in relation to Hillsborough and Orgreave a full and independent review of all cases of miners arrested in Scotland during the strike must be undertaken. To date calls for action have led nowhere and I would urge as many people as possible to add their voice to my campaign and write to demand a review. During the 84/85 miners strike David Hamilton MP was imprisoned on petition for 2 months, a tactic of the Tory government, before being found not guilty. He was one of 206 miners sacked during the dispute which left him unemployed and blacklisted. Mr Hamilton said: “I hope the 30 year rule, allowing us to see government documents, will put right the wrong that Thatcher imposed on the Miner’s and the true facts be exposed. She and her government destroyed communities throughout the UK and an apology is the least that the striking miners and their families deserve. Regrettably some good comrades are not with us today to hear it but my belief is that it would give their families some vindication”. The Labour party raised the issue of coalfields at Cabinet office questions today at Westminster today calling for a formal apology on the actions of the government at the time. ENDS Note to editors For more information or to add your voice to the campaign please visit: http://www.neilfindlaymsp.com/miners-strike/ Neil Findlay MSP Scottish Parliament Room MG 011 Edinburgh EH99 1SP Telephone 0131 348 6896 Regional Office 4 Northfield Court West Calder West Lothian EH55 8DS 01506 873242