Mining communities in West Lothian are celebrating the announcement of a review into the policing of the 1984-85 miners’ strike by the Justice Secretary Michael Matheson.

The campaign has been pursued in the Scottish Parliament by local MSP Neil Findlay since he first arrived in Parliament in 2011, and he was joined outside Holyrood after the announcement by former miners and campaigners to celebrate the result [PHOTOGRAPH ATTACHED]

Strikes erupted across the UK in 1984 in response to plans to close collieries across the country. At Polkemmet in West Lothian there were lengthy stand offs with the police that resulted in many arrests.

Around 500 Scottish miners were arrested during the year-long strike, with Scotland seeing 30% of the arrests despite only having 10% of the UK’s mining workforce.

Local MSP Neil Findlay said:

“This announcement has been a long time coming. Many miners and their families have waited over 30 years for this opportunity.

“The communities affected by policing of the strike have not forgotten how their loved ones were treated and that’s why we set up the campaign for a full independent inquiry. I am delighted that today the hard work of many people has paid off and we have secured a review.

“This is not a full public inquiry but it is a major step forward.”

John Scott QC will lead the review, reporting back to ministers in 2019.

He will be assisted by an advisory panel including former MP and MSP Dennis Canavan, former assistant chief constable Kate Thomson and Prof Jim Murdoch of Glasgow University.

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