Hundreds of Scottish miners convicted during 1984 strikes set to be cleared, according to recent report

It is estimated 500 Scots were arrested in the 1984 strikes.

Hundreds of Scottish miners who were convicted during the 1980s strikes are due to be cleared, according to a recent report.

The move has come from an independent review, led by the Scottish Government, which reported that most of the miners’ actions were unlikely to lead to ­prosecution today and said those affected were punished in a “grossly excessive manner”.

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The review, which was chaired by John Scott QC, said miners who have since died will also be covered, reports the Daily Record.

Police and miners clashing during the 1984-85 minersstrike and Neil Findlay campaigning in 2018.Police and miners clashing during the 1984-85 minersstrike and Neil Findlay campaigning in 2018.
Police and miners clashing during the 1984-85 minersstrike and Neil Findlay campaigning in 2018.

The strike, in opposition to government plans to close pits across the country, began in March 1984 and last for a year.

It was seen as a battle for the livelihoods of communities which depended on the mines, but also became a trial of strength between the then prime minister Margaret Thatcher and the trade union movement.

Thousands of miners across the UK were convicted and some were dismissed and blacklisted from working elsewhere.

MSP for the Lothians Neil Findlay has spent years campaigning with the National Union of Mineworkers.

He said: “For years I have campaigned with the NUM, former miners and Thomson’s solicitors for a review of the convictions of Scottish miners convicted during the 1984/85 strike - today is an emotional and great day.

"The review has taken on my proposal for a pardon for those convicted.

"This is a huge victory and we will now hopefully see those who were victims of a political war against their communities pardoned. I look forward to the Scottish Govt making a statement in parliament on how this will happen in practice.

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“I want to thank the review panel chaired by John Scott QC for all the their work. We can now right some historic wrongs and correct the record for victims of a miscarriage of justice.”

A spokesman from union Unite Scotland said: “An overdue victory for the striking miners of 84/85, and we will now hopefully see them pardoned for fighting for what was right.

“Huge congratulations to our members who gave testimony, Thompsons Solicitors Scotland and Neil Findlay for his campaigning.”

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