On the announcement from the Scottish government on the pardoning of miners convicted in the mid-1980s, Gary Ellis, chief executive of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, said:
“We welcome this long-awaited pardon for miners found guilty of offences in Scotland relating to the strikes which tried to save the industry in the mid-1980s. It is positive that the independent inquiry set-up by the Scottish government has led to this injustice finally being addressed.
“We now want the Westminster government to follow this lead and give the same justice to miners who were convicted in England and Wales.
“Coalfields communities across the UK are still suffering from the legacy of what happened nearly 40 years ago. The ‘Scottish Coalfields in 2020’ report we commissioned from the Social Value Lab consultancy, published this year, showed the deprivation and inequalities that still exist. For example, more young people in coalfields communities in Scotland are not in education, employment or training than in other parts of the country; there is less employment; child poverty is higher, and health is poorer.
“This situation is being exacerbated by the impact of Covid-19, with coalfields communities being concentrated in areas hardest hit by the pandemic.
“So, while we welcome today’s good news in Scotland, more has to be done to support our mining communities.”