Barnsley MP calls for Government apology over pit closures

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A South Yorkshire MP is calling for ‘justice’ for coalfield communities affected by pit closures.

Michael Dugher, who represents Barnsley East, was due to speak out in the House of Commons today to mark the launch of Labour’s ‘Justice for the Coalfields’ campaign.

It urges Conservative Ministers to issue a formal apology for the actions of the Government during the time of the strike.

The campaign follows the recent release of cabinet papers which revealed that the Thatcher Government had a secret plan to close 75 pits at the cost of some 65,000 jobs during the strike era.

They also revealed that the Government considered declaring a state of emergency and deploying the Army.

Mr Dugher, Labour’s Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “For those of us who lived through the strike and who saw the events and impact they had first-hand, what was revealed in the cabinet papers may not come as a surprise.

“Ministers may want to sweep these events under the carpet, but the scars of the dispute and the subsequent closure programme remain on the memories, communities and landscapes of all coalfield communities.”