Scottish miners convicted during 1984/85 strike to be pardoned at Holyrood

Former miners will gather outside the Scottish Parliament today ahead of a statement on those convicted in the year-long strike in the 1980s.

The Scottish Government is due to update MSPs on an independent review into convictions for offences during the 1984/85 strike on Wednesday.

The review reportedly proposed that miners who were convicted of breach of the peace and similar offences be given a pardon.

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Thousands protested against the closure of pits during the industrial dispute with Margaret Thatcher’s government.

Police restrain picketers outside a pit during the miners' strike in the 1980s.
Police restrain picketers outside a pit during the miners' strike in the 1980s.

Throughout the summer of 1984, there were several violent clashes between striking miners and police, whose numbers often ran into the hundreds during the confrontations.

Scottish Labour MSP Neil Findlay will join the miners outside the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Findlay said: “I hope today we see the Justice Secretary accept my proposal for a pardon for those miners who were victims of politically-motivated convictions.

“Many former miners and their families have waited years for this – they have paid a heavy price for their convictions including being blacklisted from employment.

“I want to thank former justice minister Michael Matheson for setting up the independent review into policing during the 1984/85 strike and John Scott QC and the panel for their work.

“Today we can right a historic wrong that affected so many working men and their families – I hope that the Justice Secretary will accept the recommendations of the report today and implement them before the end of this parliamentary term.”

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