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Tories told: 'Come clean on miners'

Tory ministers told to come clean about the Thatcher'ss onslaught on the miners

Labour will challenge Tory ministers today to come clean about the Thatcher government's onslaught on the miners.

Shadow Cabinet Office minister Michael Dugher will fling down the gauntlet in the Commons as part of Labour's "Justice for the Coalfields" campaign.

Mr Dugher will demand an official government apology and the release of secret papers detailing collusion between Margaret Thatcher, ministers and the police.

Earlier this month, newly released Cabinet papers revealed that the Thatcher government had a secret plan to close 75 pits at the cost of 65,000 jobs.

With its campaign Labour aims to lift the lid on the entire Establishment plot culminating in the miners' strike of 1984-5.

Mr Dugher said the whole truth must be revealed before the 30th anniversary on June 18 of the clashes at Orgreave between police and pickets.

"A proper investigation might go a little way to rebuild public confidence," added Mr Dugher.

He will raise the issue today when Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude faces MPs at question time.

Mr Dugher said last night that it was clear the Thatcher government had taken a deliberately calculated political approach "guided by a complete hostility to the coalfield communities."

He added: "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."

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