Miners Strike 1984-85: UK-wide Inquiry

Part of NDAs: Universities – in Westminster Hall at 5:03 pm on 29th June 2022.

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Photo of Chris Stephens Chris Stephens Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Fair Work and Employment) 5:03 pm, 29th June 2022

The independent review makes it very clear: it is because of the disproportionate actions of the police and the justice system at that point. I was also alarmed by those figures when they were brought to my attention. The hon. Gentleman will be aware of the Labour party report, prepared by Gordon Brown and Merlyn Rees—a future Prime Minister and a former Home Secretary—which also raised and highlighted the concerns in 1985 about the strike. It recommended that there should be a royal commission into the circumstances leading up to the strike and the conduct of the strike, as well as looking at the wider constitutional aspects of the development of policing—including accountability. Even then, in 1985, the demands from that report talk about some of the issues that the hon. Member for Wansbeck raised.

I hope the Minister will respond positively. He should take serious note of what myself and other Members have said about the current vilification of trade union activity. We saw that vilification during the miners strike of 1984-85, and we are seeing some of it today. Perhaps, he could encourage some of his colleagues to engage in a better discourse when discussing such issues.