Miners' Compensation

Trade and Industry written question – answered on 12th February 2004.

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Photo of Adam Price Adam Price Spokesperson (Economy and Taxation; Education & Skills; Miner's Compensation; Regeneration; Trade & Industry)

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 20 January 2004, Official Report, column 1174W, on miners' compensation, for what reason the initial discussions about a direct agreement with the National Union of Mineworkers were not pursued.

Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Minister of State (e-Commerce & Competitiveness)

holding answer 11 February 2004

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 20 May 1999 that he would

"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.

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