Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:05 pm on 10th June 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Jo Platt Jo Platt Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office) 9:05 pm, 10th June 2019

I am sorry, but I am not going to give way.

If it were not for brave and relentless fighters like Colin Rooney, who campaigns on behalf of the south Lancashire coalfield, we would never have the incredible campaigning force that we see today, which deserves enormous respect. Anyone who speaks to our ex-miners knows that they give it to you straight, and when they see injustice, they do not stop fighting. For this Government to ignore their plight and leave this injustice burning would be reprehensible. They have a duty to start setting right the wrongs that these men have suffered.

If we needed more evidence that this Government have no regard for our ex-miners, a few weeks ago, in response to my question, the Prime Minister said that she was proud to be raising safety standards in mines—forgetting that her predecessors closed them all. Raising safety standards in closed mines is perhaps the only achievement that the former Prime Minister can safely claim.

This debate goes further than just miners or the miners’ pensions that must be re-evaluated. This debate reaches to the way we as a society care for those we sent into dangerous conditions, those who lost their jobs when the pits were closed and those who have seen their communities neglected, so we must today send the message that the indignity will end. Our ex-miners are still the beating hearts of towns such as Leigh, and now we must all give them the respect they deserve for their service to their local communities.