In May 1998 my hon. Friend Mr. Battle invited the NUM to contribute to the Claims Handling Arrangements through their solicitors, Raleys. Raleys, although not one of the firms chosen to negotiate directly with the Department, were members of the Claimants' Solicitors Group represented by these firms. Raleys were kept informed and asked to contribute to the negotiations on numerous occasions throughout the process.
The NUM declined this opportunity and Mr. Scargill made it clear in a letter of
"not be bound by any agreement reached by any Steering Committee or grouping of solicitors".
The NUM have subsequently declined the offer of further meetings.