Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, has welcomed news that Scottish miners convicted during the year-long strike in the 1980s are to be pardoned by the SNP Government.
Scotland’s Justice Secretary, Humza Yousaf, made the announcement in Holyrood today following the publication of an independent review into the matter.
It is believed about 1,400 miners were arrested across Scotland and more than 500 were convicted.
The pardons scheme will require new legislation to be introduced by the SNP Government and passed by the Scottish Parliament in due course.
Commenting, George said:
“A great number of miners across Scotland have suffered for years due to the excessive convictions handed out during the strike and for decades, these men and their families have had to deal with the consequences.
“Although the strike may have taken place 35 years ago, there is still much anger in many of our local communities about how the miners were treated – and rightly so.
“Personally for me, watching the strike unfold and the way these hardworking men were treated with such contempt and disregard is what drove my passion for justice, dignity and respect as a young person, and it is definitely one of the key reasons I am where I am today – fighting for Scotland and the people of Paisley to make sure no one is treated so badly by the UK Government again.
“This collective pardon also applies posthumously and that in of itself is clear evidence of the SNP Government’s aim to right a historic wrong. I am proud to be a member of such a progressive and fair party and hope this announcement helps bring some peace to those who have suffered unnecessarily for so long.”
Scotland’s Justice Secretary, Humza Yousaf MSP, said:
“The pardon is intended to acknowledge the disproportionate impact arising from miners being prosecuted and convicted during the strike – such as the loss of their job. It will also recognise the exceptional circumstances that resulted in former miners suffering hardship and the loss of their good name through their participation in the strike.
“It is also vital to acknowledge that many officers involved in policing the strike found it an incredibly difficult time – being rooted in their communities and having family members who were miners.”