‘Working class hero’

Former Midlothian Labour MP Eric Clarke has been presented with a medal in recognition of his service to the Labour and Trade Union Movement at an event at the House of Commons.

The medal engraved on the back with the words ‘Presented to Eric Clarke Working Class Hero’ was presented by the former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and Labour’s Chief Whip Rosie Winterton.

Eric was a Midlothian Councillor for 16 years, Scottish General Secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers for 12 years, he served on the Labour Party National Executive for five years and was Member of Parliament for Midlothian for nine years. Born in Edinburgh, he took up work in the collieries of Midlothian in his teens.

His experience of representing co-workers led him to public office and he went on to serve the residents of Mayfield and Gorebridge on Midlothian County Council and then Lothian Regional Council.

In 1975 he was elected into the full time position of General Secretary of the Scottish Miners’. He represented Scottish miners through one of the most turbulent periods that the industry had ever experienced. Elected to Westminster in 1992, he has served as a Scottish and Defence Whip and as a member of the Scottish Affairs Committee.