Miners' strike pardon bill welcomed by Midlothian MSP

The Scottish Parliament has unanimously passed the Miners' Strike (Pardons) (Scotland) Bill, providing a pardon for miners who were convicted of certain offences relating to the 1984-1985 miners’ strike.

By Kevin Quinn
Friday, 17th June 2022, 9:40 am

A pardon will apply automatically. Miners will not need to apply for a pardon.

Midlothian North MSP Colin Beattie is vice-chair of the National Mining Museum of Scotland and his constituency was home to two super pits, Bilston Glen and Monktonhall. At their peak, both had 1800 workers employed at each pit and both saw violence flare frequently during the ’84-’85 strike.

Welcoming the passing of the Bill, Mr Beattie (SNP) said: “I am pleased the Parliament unanimously passed this Bill. In every nook and cranny of my constituency you are served with a poignant reminder of our industrial mining past and I know the events of the ’84-’85 Miners’ strike remain raw and divisive in ex-mining communities, even today when I speak to ex-miners and their families.”

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Members of the NUM miners' union picket line clash with police outside Bilston Glen colliery during the miners strike in June 1984.

He added: “The Bill brings justice to those who have faced stigma, wipes out the stain of law breaking for so many decent miners who were simply caught up in the unholy mess but did not truly realise the consequences this would have on them. This is why it is so important.

“I am proud that the Scottish Government is the first in the UK to pass a Bill granting pardon for miners convicted of certain offence during 1984-1985 strike. I hope this restores dignity to those convicted and, provides a sense of closure to the lingering feelings of injustice.

“I also recognise that many issues around the potential for financial compensation are reserved to the UK Government and call for this to be reviewed as part of the inquiry if Westminster agrees to address this important issue on behalf of miners elsewhere in the UK.

“It is now time for the UK Government to act swiftly and follow in the steps of the Scottish Government to bring justice to all miners and mining communities across the United Kingdom.”