AN independent probe into the impact of policing during the miners’ strike of the 1980s should consider pardons for those wrongly convicted, it has been urged.

Scottish Labour MSP Neil Findlay called on the review to “ensure that politicised convictions are thrown into the dustbin of history where they belong”.

It comes as John Scott QC prepares to deliver an interim report setting out his initial findings this month, ahead of a full report being published in the summer.

Mr Scott was appointed to investigate claims of heavy-handed policing during the 1984-85 dispute, which saw brutal clashes between officers and picketing workers.

Mr Findlay, who witnessed the impact of the strikes first-hand as a teenager, argues Scottish miners were disproportionately affected by the upheaval, with an estimated 500 arrests in Scotland.

Meanwhile, 30 per cent of those sacked after being arrested were based north of the Border, he said – despite Scotland making up just 10% of the mining workforce at the time.

He said: “Mining communities across Britain suffered at the hands of politicised and often brutal policing as Margaret Thatcher and her Tory Government used the power of the state to crush working people.

“Scottish miners suffered disproportionately from these underhand tactics during this struggle. Many of these workers lost not just their jobs and income, but their relationships, their homes, and many their mental and physical health.

“Some were blacklisted and others went to their graves the victims of a miscarriage of justice with a criminal conviction against their name when the reality was they had done nothing wrong.

“The review of these convictions should consider pardons, and ensure that politicised convictions are thrown into the dustbin of history where they belong.”

The miners’ strike lasted from March 1984 to March 1985, and was sparked after Mrs Thatcher announced plans to close a number of pits which were deemed “inefficient”.

The UK Government previously ruled out an inquiry into the violent confrontations between police and striking miners in Orgreave, South Yorkshire, in 1984.

Announcing a review last year, then Justice Secretary Michael Matheson urged UK ministers to follow Scotland’s lead.

He said they had an obligation to “fully explore the extent of any political interference” by Mrs Thatcher’s Government.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said it was not within the scope of the current probe to re-examine individual convictions.

She said: “With an independent review into the impact of policing on communities during the miners’ strike, led by John Scott QC Solicitor Advocate, Scotland is leading the way in ensuring that the experiences of those affected are properly heard and understood.

“The Scottish Government understands that strong feelings persist in Scotland about the events of 1984/85, especially in mining communities.

“Whilst it is not within the scope of the independent review to re-examine individual convictions; it is hoped it will bring openness and an element of closure to all of those who have been impacted.

“Clearly, we will await the findings of the independent review before considering what, if any, further actions are appropriate.”