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Justice call over miners' strike

Calls for a public inquiry into the year-long miners' strike are being stepped up as communities affected gear up to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the start of the most bitter industrial conflict in living memory.

A series of events will be held by miners, their families, supporters and union activists in the build-up to March 9, the date when the UK-wide action began in 1984.

The revelation that the then prime minister ­Margaret Thatcher secretly considered calling out the troops at the height of the strike has strengthened the belief that a full-blown inquiry should be held.

Labour MP Ian Lavery, a former president of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), has tabled an early day motion, which "regrets that nearly 30 years after the strike ended, there are still men who were wrongly arrested or convicted during the dispute, who have never received justice". More than 60 MPs are supporting the motion.

He said: "People who live in great mining communities across the UK have not forgotten the strike and they will never forget. Passions have not waned."

The strike began in ­Scotland at Polmaise Colliery in Stirlingshire after a decision in January 1984 by the National Coal Board to close it due to geological faults in the pit and a lack of a market for Polmaise coal.

But the NUM in Scotland failed to gain a majority vote backing a strike across all Scottish pits. An official strike was called at Polmaise on February 21, 1984, and the miners tried to persuade others to join the strike across Scotland and the UK strike began on March 9.

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Local government

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