Local Linlithgow Constituency MSP, Fiona Hyslop, has welcomed the passing of the Miners’ Strike (Pardons) (Scotland) Bill, following a Stage 3 debate in the Scottish Parliament on 16th June 2022.
The Bill seeks to provide pardons to certain individuals who were convicted of certain offences committed during the 1984-85 national miners’ strike. The pardon will apply automatically when the requirements of the pardon are met, and the intention is to provide a collective symbolic pardon which recognises the disproportionate consequences faced by miners following their participation in the strike.
Legislators have recognised that many former miners potentially eligible for the pardon are now elderly or have regrettably died given the passage in time since the strike. As such, the Bill has been developed within an accelerated timescale to enable early introduction in the first year of the new parliamentary session.
In 2020, Fiona was part of the collective Cabinet decision to accept in principle the recommendations outlined in the Independent Review of the 1984-85 miners’ strike to introduce legislation to collectively pardon the actions of miners in relation to the strike. Following the review, and subsequent consultation, The Scottish Government introduced The Miners’ Strike (Pardons) (Scotland) Bill and accompanying documents to the Parliament on 27 October 2021.
“I am very glad to see this Bill passed in Parliament. More than three decades have now passed since the main miners’ dispute, but communities are still affected by the unjust and excessive consequences suffered by the miners.
“Deep hurt is still felt today by those communities policed during the strike, including those in my own constituency, and that hurt will not just go away. Miners and their families faced great hardship during the strike, and this continued even when the strike was over, because of the unjust convictions that followed. I hope that the passing of this Bill goes some way to making right the wrongs committed to those who went on strike to defend their way of life, their jobs, and their future.
“In 2020, I was part of the collective Cabinet decision to accept the recommendation outlined in an Independent Review to introduce legislation to collectively pardon the actions of miners, and I am proud and heartened to see this legislation has now passed.
“We stand by the miners in solidarity, in my Constituency in West Lothian, and beyond.”
Notes: Link to Official Report of the Meeting of the Parliament, Thursday 16 June 2022: http://archive2021.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=13826&mode=pdf