Local Miners convicted during strike to be pardoned

Wednesday October 28th 2020

Scottish-Mining-Museum

The Lady Victoria Colliery, Newtongrange, now home of the National Mining Museum Scotland


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Scottish miners convicted during the year-long strike in the 1980s are to be pardoned by the Scottish Government.

Scotland’s Justice Secretary, Humza Yousaf, made the announcement in Holyrood today following the publication of an independent review into the matter.

It is believed about 1,400 miners were arrested across Scotland and more than 500 were convicted.

The pardons scheme will require new legislation to be introduced by the SNP Government and passed by the Scottish Parliament in due course.

Commenting, local SNP MSP, Colin Beattie, said:

“A great number of local miners from Midlothian and East Lothian have suffered for years due to the excessive convictions handed out during the strike.

“The strike may have taken place 35 years ago, but there is still much anger in many of our local communities about how the miners were treated – and rightly so.

“For decades, hundreds of men and their families have had to deal with the consequences of the strike and their heavy convictions.

“This collective pardon also applies posthumously and is clear evidence of the SNP Government’s aim to right a historic wrong.”

Scotland’s Justice Secretary, Humza Yousaf MSP, said:

“The pardon is intended to acknowledge the disproportionate impact arising from miners being prosecuted and convicted during the strike – such as the loss of their job. It will also recognise the exceptional circumstances that resulted in former miners suffering hardship and the loss of their good name through their participation in the strike.

“It is also vital to acknowledge that many officers involved in policing the strike found it an incredibly difficult time – being rooted in their communities and having family members who were miners.”

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