|Labour to campaign for ‘Justice for the Coalfields’
Labour will today launch the ‘Justice for the Coalfields’ campaign to urge Conservative Ministers to begin to put right the wrongs with coalfield communities.
Labour is now urging Ministers to take the following action:
- Make a formal apology for the actions of the Government during the time of the strike
- Set out all details of the interactions between the Government and the police at the time
- Release all information about Government-police communications around Orgreave, with a proper investigation which might go a little way to rebuild public confidence
Labour believes this must happen before the 30th Anniversary of Orgreave on June 18th this year.
On Wednesday 29th January Labour’s Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Dugher will raise this in the House of Commons, challenging Francis Maude to make an apology and commit to these actions.
Michael Dugher MP said:
“For those of us who lived through the strike and who saw the events and impact they had firsthand, what was revealed in the cabinet papers may not come as a surprise. But it is no less shocking to consider that, far from being neutral as was claimed at the time, it is clear that the Government took a deliberately calculated political approach guided by a complete hostility to the coalfield communities.
“That is why I am calling for justice for the coalfields.
“Ministers may want to sweep these events under the carpet, but the scars of the dispute and the subsequent closure programme remain on the memories, communities and landscapes of all coalfield communities. They must now apologise and deliver transparency to begin to foster reconciliation with the coalfield communities.”
Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue MP said:
“The scars of the dispute run deep in coalfield communities across the country and here in Wigan. The recently released cabinet papers confirm what is already widely accepted - that the Thatcher Government had a secret plan to close 75 pits and that they influenced police tactics to escalate the dispute and considered the use of the Army against its own citizens.
“Ministers can start by making an apology and releasing information as we mark the 30th anniversary of the dispute!”