THE HOME Office has ruled out the possibility of a UK-wide inquiry into the miners’ strike.

Scottish Justice Secretary Keith Brown had urged Priti Patel to launch the probe after MSPs unanimously backed legislation pardoning those arrested during the 1984-85 industrial action. 

While there was agreement in Holyrood on the new law, there was disagreement over compensation for the workers who lost redundancy payments and pension rights. 

Labour had called on the Scottish Government to pay the men, but Mr Brown insisted it was the responsibility of ministers in Westminster.

After the Pardons Bill passed, he wrote to the Home Secretary asking for a public inquiry which would ultimately have led to compensation.

However, in a letter to Mr Brown, Ms Patel has ruled that out. 

The Justice Secretary has now written again to his counterpart in London asking her to reconsider. 

In his new letter, Mr Brown said he was “very disappointed to hear that you have no current plans to undertake a UK public inquiry.” 

“I know that sense of disappointment will be shared by many former miners and their families who still seek answers to the unresolved questions which remain for them to this day.”

Mr Brown said that as employment, trade and industrial relations remain reserved to Westminster, the “responsibility for the decisions taken at the time by the National Coal Board (NCB) still lies firmly with the UK Government.”

He added: “In addition, only the UK Government can address for example any allegations of political interference during the strike by a previous UK Government. 

“It is the UK Government that could, and indeed should, be compensating miners who were dismissed for taking part in a strike to save not only their jobs, but also their industry and communities. 

“Many former miners lost out on thousands of pounds in redundancy and pension payments after they were sacked by the NCB. The provision of financial redress now would mean a great deal to many people.

“An uncovering of the truth of what happened during the strike - and the taking of responsibility for decisions made - are important to the people still affected by the strike. 

"The quest for answers and for compensation will continue on a cross-party basis - whether that be at Westminster, Holyrood, the Welsh Assembly, or as I hope through our combined efforts on behalf of former miners and their families.”

Mr Brown urged the Home Secretary to “recognise the depth of feeling in many former mining communities and give these communities the answers and the recompense that they seek, in a spirit of reconciliation.” 

The Home Office has been contacted for comment. 

Meanwhile, new figures released today show that Ms Patel paid out £70m in compensation and associated legal costs last year, official figures show.

Departmental accounts for 2021-22 show that a total of £41.1m was handed out in compensation, which includes £25.1m to 768 victims of the Windrush scandal and £12.7m to 572 people who were wrongfully detained in immigration centres.

They also show that the Home Office was required to pay £28.8m last year in adverse legal costs for 2,106 cases it lost.

Compensation payments have trebled since Ms Patel became home secretary, from £13.6m in 2019-20 to £25.4m in 2020-21 and £41.1m last year.