Findlay pledges to push for miners’ strike inquiry

LABOUR leadership contender Neil Findlay has said he will consider trying to force a Holyrood-run Hillsborough style inquiry into the 1984-85 miners’ strike in Scotland if he is elected as party leader next month.

LABOUR leadership contender Neil Findlay has said he will consider trying to force a Holyrood-run Hillsborough style inquiry into the 1984-85 miners’ strike in Scotland if he is elected as party leader next month.

Mr Findlay made the claim as he published a new report into the strike backed by employment law experts Thompsons, which warned the controversial creation of a single police by the SNP government could lead to similar policing controversies in the future. The MSP suggested that a full inquiry by Holyrood’s public petitions committee may be needed to review the policing of the dispute north of the Border, as well as the convictions of nearly 500 striking miners in Scotland during the year-long strike over pit closures.

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Scotland’s justice secretary Kenny MacAskill has repeatedly refused requests made by Mr Findlay for a review of the convictions, which the Labour MSP has said are unsafe and were politically motivated.

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Thompsons and the civil service union PCS backed the call in the newly published report, which said: “Another opportunity would be to lodge a parliamentary petition through the public petitions committee.

“With the support of the National Union of Mineworkers, Thompsons and other interested parties, a petition could be lodged providing the opportunity for convicted miners’ to give evidence to parliament in their call for justice.”

“Today in Scotland we have a centralised police force with the potential to wield power beyond that of the 1980s.”

The authors of the report added: “We therefore believe that a review is vital both to right some of the historic and personal wrongs of the strike.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said ministers had no plans to hold an inquiry into the miners’ strike and said the creation of a single force with Police Scotland had strengthened the “connection between policing and communities”.

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