THE Home Office have stated they have no current plans to undertake a UK wide public enquiry into events relating to the 1984-85 miners strike. 

Previously, SNP Cabinet Secretary for Justice Keith Brown wrote to UK home secretary Priti Patel, urging her to consider holding a public enquiry. This proposal was shot down by Patel in July, but now Brown has once again written to Patel asking her to reconsider. 

In a new letter, Brown said he was “very disappointed” to hear there are no plans to hold a UK public enquiry, stating that the “anger and the pain of old wounds still run deep in our mining heartlands”.

He continued: “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. 

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“It will also be shared by many other parliamentarians – particularly those who showed their support for such an inquiry during the passage of the Miners’ Strike (Pardons) Bill and also during the Westminster Hall debate held on 29 June.

“To reiterate the points made by members at that debate, the release of files and the passage of time since the strike should not be used as an excuse by the UK Government for not undertaking a UK inquiry.

“In addition, the changes which have taken place in oversight and accountability in policing over the intervening years across the UK - while very welcome - do not obviate the need for an inquiry.”

Brown first wrote to Patel in June following the unanimous passing of the Miners’ Strike (Pardons) (Scotland) Bill at Holyrood. All 117 MSPs who voted were in support. Now law, this will 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.

However, a proposed amendment by Labour made at the same time to secure financial compensation for those affected, paid by the Scottish Government failed 24 to 92 votes.

In June, several SNP MSPs put forward a separate open letter to Patel, arguing that compensation for affected miners should be drawn from the £4.4 billion which the Treasury has siphoned as a surplus from the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme since the privatisation of British Coal in 1994.