SCOTTISH Labour has called for an independent review to consider issuing pardons to workers convicted of offences relating to the miners’ strike in the mid-1980s.

An inquiry was announced last year by former justice secretary Michael Matheson, who told MSPs the Scottish Government would “do what it can to do right by those affected by the dispute”.

An estimated 500 arrests were made in Scotland during the strike action, with scores of workers made redundant after being convicted.

Labour front bencher Neil Findlay said Scottish miners were arrested and dismissed at a disproportionate rate, with 30% of the sackings after arrest in Britain occurring north of the Border, despite just 10% of the then-mining workforce coming from Scotland.

“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,” said the party’s business and campaigns manager.

“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.”

He added: “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, which lasted from 1984 to 1985, took place after Margaret Thatcher announced plans to close a number of pits which were deemed “inefficient” by her government. In Scotland, the flashpoints included picket lines at the former Ravenscraig steel works in Lanarkshire, and Bilston Glen pit south of Edinburgh.

In 2016, former home secretary Amber Rudd ruled out holding an inquiry into the so-called Battle of Orgreave, when thousands of miners and police were involved in violent clashes at a coking plant in South Yorkshire.

It followed claims of an alleged cover-up after it emerged senior officers involved in the Hillsborough disaster five years later were also involved in the aftermath of Orgreave.

Announcing the review, Matheson said doing nothing was not an option and urged Sajid Javid, Rudd’s successor, to follow suit. He added: “Through this independent review, Scotland will certainly lead the way in ensuring that the experiences of those affected by the dispute in the 80s are properly recognised. Some of our communities have been blighted by the shadow of that time for too long.”

Documents released in 2017 showed the Thatcher administration believed an inquiry into the policing of the strike would become a “witch hunt”. According to the minutes of a 1985 meeting, home secretary Leon Brittan wanted to avoid “any form of inquiry”.

The review is being led by John Scott QC, who previously chaired an independent advisory group to the Scottish Government on the police tactic of stop and search. It will make its recommendations by June.

He is being assisted by an advisory panel, including former MP and MSP Dennis Canavan, ex-assistant chief constable Kate Thomson and Glasgow University’s professor Jim Murdoch.