This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
DURHAM miners insisted today they would rather “be found dead in a ditch” than invite Boris Johnson to the Durham Miners’ Gala, despite Tory MPs “trolling” about attending the event.
The announcement came after several new Tory MPs in former coalfield areas have shown an interest in attending the Gala in July this year.
These include Dehenna Davison, who was elected the first Tory MP for Bishop Auckland in the constituency’s 101 year existence.
However, Durham Miners’ Association (DMA) president Alan Mardghum insisted that Tory MPs were unwelcome at the Gala, which is thought to be Europe’s largest celebration of trade unionism.
When asked by the BBC today about whether he would welcome any of the new Tory parliamentary intake at the Gala, Mr Mardghum responded: “To paraphrase Johnson, I would rather be found dead in a ditch than invite them, or Johnson, to the Gala.
“We never saw Arthur Scargill invited to the Tory Party conference. Why would we invite Tories to the Durham Miners’ Gala?
“They did their best to absolutely destroy the Durham miners and the miners of Great Britain.”
Mr Mardghum also added that they “might need to speak to the police to make sure that they’re safe on the day.”
In response, Ms Davison tweeted: “See you there, Alan.”
Other Tory MPs interested in going included Middlesbrough South and Cleveland East’s Simon Clarke, who called Mr Mardghum’s comments “idiocy,” and Richard Holden – who beat Laura Pidcock in North West Durham – who said he was “more than happy” to attend.
A subsequent statement by Mr Mardghum clarified his comments, saying: “Conservative MPs have never attended the Durham Miners’ Gala as official invitees or, as far as we know, the parade itself.
“The idea that we should invite them now is simply ludicrous and was started by a cheeky question from a journalist.”
Labour MP Charlotte Nichols defended the DMA, saying: “Unless they’re attending to deliver an apology on behalf of this government for Thatcherism and commit to a public inquiry on Orgreave, any Tory MP attending the Durham Miners’ Gala is just trolling.
“They don’t understand the event or what it stands for.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.