A REVIEW of convictions of miners during the 1984/85 strike should consider pardons, says Lesley Laird MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath.

A number of miners in the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area were convicted during the strike through clashes between pickets and police at the likes of Cartmore in Lochgelly and at Longannet, with an estimated 500 arrests in Scotland in total during the dispute.

Ms Laird said that Scottish miners were disproportionately arrested, with 30 per cent of the sackings after arrest in Britain occurring north of the border, despite the country making up just 10 per cent of the then mining workforce.

The MP said: “I am proud to stand alongside Cllr Bobby Clelland and former Labour Fife councillors Bob Young, Jim Young and Tom Adams – all ex-miners – in asking for pardons.

“I know that the wound is still raw for many men who, 33 years on, still seek justice for what they suffered under then Premier Margaret Thatcher’s abuse of police powers.

“Former pit delegate John Mitchell (73) recounted earlier this year how he felt he had been ‘specifically targeted’ by police at a picket line outside the Frances in 1985".

Ms Laird added: “That action triggered what he called “three years of hell” as he fought to keep his pension after losing both his job and redundancy amounting to £26,000.

“John was far from alone. Many miners found themselves blacklisted, which consigned them to years of unemployment, and lost their homes, relationships, and suffered strains to their mental and physical health.

“This review provides a vital chance to consider pardons for these men - and ensure that no more miners go to their graves with a wrongful criminal conviction against their name.”

The inquiry held a session at Lochgelly Centre in November when former miners were encouraged by John Scott, who is in charge of the inquiry, to go along and tell of their experiences.