Midlothian Council rejects motion calling for review of miners convictions

A motion, calling on Justice Secretary Kenny McAskill to initiate an independent review of police involvement in cases of miners convicted in the 1980s, has been defeated at a meeting of Midlothian Council.

Councillor Alex Bennett (Lab) had urged the full council to agree to write to the Scottish Government supporting the call for a review.

Labour Group Leader Derek Milligan told the meeting: “The only way that the miners here have the slightest chance is for an independent review, because if we leave the police at a senior level to judge themselves you will have absolutely no chance.”

In Scotland, almost 500 miners were arrested during the strikes in 1984-85.

At Bilston Glen Colliery, it is claimed that police used ‘snatch squads’ to take miners out of picket lines.

While sympathising with the strength of feeling among former miners, the council’s Depute Leader Owen Thompson (SNP) argued against the need for an inquiry: “The order is someone jumbled up here given that a debate has already taken place within the Scottish Parliament.”

Read full story in the March 28 edition of the Midlothian Advertiser.