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Scottish miners involved in the ’84-5 strikes urged to speak out about policing

SCOTTISH miners involved in the 1984-5 strike must speak out about their experiences of policing, a lawyer carrying out an independent review has said.

John Scott QC was appointed by the government to examine the effect of policing during the miners’ strike in Scotland, following a long campaign by former colliery workers and their families.

The strike saw violent clashes between police and miners, and Margaret Thatcher’s government has been accused of interfering with police operations in an effort to crush the National Union of Mineworkers.

Mr Scott said: “If you were a miner, part of a mining community, a police officer or in some other way affected by or involved in the strike, please let us know about your experience.”

He will be assisted by an advisory panel made up of ex-MP Dennis Canavan, law professor Jim Murdoch and former senior police officer Kate Thomson.

University of the West of Scotland lecturer Ewan Gibbs, who has extensively researched the strike in Scotland, told the Star that arrest rates in north of the border were “significantly higher than those across England and Wales,” adding that research pointed to political interference.

“The Scottish government’s review is the outcome of a long campaign that has been fought by the 206 Scottish miners who were arrested and subsequently lost their jobs,” Dr Gibbs added.

“It presents a valuable opportunity for victimised miners, their families and communities to achieve official recognition of the injustice that they have endured for over three decades.”

Scottish Labour frontbencher Neil Findlay said: “This is, I hope, a significant step forward in the fight for justice and the truth about what actually happened in Scotland during that period.”

Conrad Landin is the Morning Star’s Scotland editor.

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