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40th anniversary of the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike

In this, the 40th anniversary of the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike, it’s important that we recognise the extraordinary struggle and hardship people went through, and celebrate our rich mining heritage.

 

We owe it to our mining communities to match their ambition, by building a fairer, greener economy, where growth boosts living standards and creates good jobs.

 

Coal may no longer be mined in Wakefield, but I know that rich seam that powered Britain’s industrial revolution still runs deep through our proud community.

 

A generation on from that strike, the pain is still felt today. The rapid closure of the mines may be in the past, but the people still living with the consequences are not.

 

The historic injustices remain today, as stark as ever: from miners who contracted industrial diseases in the pits; to the police brutality seen at Orgreave; to the Government’s shameful approach to the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme.

 

Labour also recognises the need to tackle historic injustices, which is why we support a full investigation or inquiry into the events at Orgreave to uncover the truth.

 

Labour will also ensure that unlawful blacklisting of trade unionists is a practice never seen again in Britain, with the law properly enforced, and that anti-blacklisting laws and protections keep pace with the changing nature of work and technological advancements.

 

The Government’s approach to the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme is a historic injustice which should never have happened, and so I strongly welcomed the findings of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee, which clearly concluded that the Government should not be in the business of profiting from miners’ pensions.

 

⁠Labour in Government will work with the Mineworkers and their families to right this injustice, and we will set out our full plans by the time of the election. People should be in no doubt we will deliver justice for mineworkers and their families with the urgency required.

 

Labour will never abandon our communities to the winds of industrial change like the Tories have done. Our Green Prosperity Plan will seize the opportunities of the energy transition to deliver economic justice. We will rebuild the strength of our industrial heartland with secure, green jobs, backed by strong trade unions.

 

That is how we honour those who went on strike; that is how we honour their legacy.



Simon Lightwood MP

Member of Parliament for Wakefield

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