MP calls for justice for coal communities

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Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett is urging government ministers to ‘put right the wrongs’ with coalfield communities.

Mr Trickett, along with MP Yvette Cooper and parliamentary candidate Veronica King, has launched the ‘Justice for the Coalfields’ campaign.

Papers released last month revealed that the Thatcher government had secretly planned to close 75 pits, with the loss of 65,000 jobs and that it had considered deploying the army to defeat miners and the unions. They also showed that the government sought to influence police tactics to escalate the dispute.

The MPs are now asking government ministers to make a formal apology. They also want information about interactions between the government and police, and communications about Orgreave, released and a proper investigation.

The three are calling for answers before the 30th anniversary of Orgreave on June 18.

Mr Trickett said: “Those of us who were active at the time of the miners’ strike will never forget the heroism of the mining communities and it is impossible to forgive the Conservative politicians, who we now know for certain lied both to the miners and to the wider British public.

“We need a full investigation into all the matters which occurred at the time - including what happened at Orgreave - and an apology from the Conservatives for their behaviour. Nothing else will do.”