A BILL aimed at pardoning some miners of convictions during strikes in the 1980s has passed the Scottish Parliament but a push by Labour to secure financial compensation failed.

The Miners’ Strike (Pardons) (Scotland) Bill would see the convictions of those found guilty of breach of the peace, obstruction of the police, or a breach of bail conditions during the strike of 1984-85 wiped.

But Labour MSP Richard Leonard lodged an amendment which would instruct ministers to carry out a review of compensation options and publish a report on the review within a year of the bill receiving Royal Assent.

The amendment fell by 24 votes to 92.

The bill passed unanimously, with support from all 117 MSPs who voted.

Justice Secretary Keith Brown, speaking against the amendment, said it was for the UK Government to create such a scheme.

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“My view is that any compensation should… be properly thought out, it should be uniform and it should be fair,” the Justice Secretary said.

Speaking in favour of the amendment, Leonard said: “The excuses for opposing this over the past few months have been manifold – they have been that employment law and industrial relations are not devolved, or that this parliament did not exist in 1984, or that this parliament is not competent, or that time is of the essence.

“But I will say this – if it is competent for this parliament to pardon the miners for what happened in 1984-85 it must be competent for this parliament to compensate the miners for what happened in 1984-85.”

Scottish Labour MSP Pam Duncan-Glancy said the bill would send a message to workers.

“You have power and we stand with you,” she said.

“An attack on one is an attack on us all – we must always be on the side of workers.

“The Scottish Labour Party has always been and always will be on their side.”

Imploring fellow MSPs to pass the bill, Brown said: “For now, we must take the opportunity to recognise the circumstances that led to so many convictions and to say that as a parliament and as a country we want to pardon those convictions and bring some comfort and reconciliation to those involved.”

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Commenting, former Labour MSP Neil Findlay, who led the Scottish parliamentary campaign for justice for Scottish miners arrested during the 1984/5 strike, said: “10 years ago we launched the campaign for justice for Scottish Miners arrested during the strike. With the outstanding support  and determined campaigning by former miners, the NUM, Thompsons solicitors and supportive parliamentarians we have together, delivered this outstanding victory.

“Whilst it is disappointing that the Scottish Government rejected a compensation scheme for those affected, the state has now recognised these men were the victims of a grave injustice. We now need a UK-wide public inquiry.

“But today is a great day and everyone involved should be proud of the part they played.”

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Brown has now confirmed that he has written to the UK Government urging it to consider launching an inquiry into the miners’ strike and a possible compensation scheme for those convicted of crimes.

Brown said: “It is now right that the UK Government recognises the passing of this historic legislation and gives further consideration to a UK-wide public inquiry and the payment of compensation to former miners.”