Two Swansea AMs are backing calls for the Conservative Party to issue an apology for the actions of Margaret Thatcher’s administration during the miners’ strike of 1984/5.
Secret cabinet documents from the Thatcher government were released early this month, under the 30-year-rule, which reveal plans were in place to shut down 75 coal mines, and that political pressure was placed on police chief constables against picketers.
They also reveal that consideration was given to calling a state of emergency with the deployment of soldiers to move coal.
Calls for an apology were raised in the House of Commons, by Wigan MP Lisa Nandy during Prime Minister’s Questions.
And now Labour AM Mike Hedges has tabled an Assembly Statement of Opinion (SOP), backing calls for an apology.
Swansea East AM Mike Hedges said: “For many people in coalfield communities up and down Wales, the memories, scars and wounds from the Miners’ Strike are still raw. Many towns and neighbourhoods throughout South Wales are still reeling from the devastation and destruction caused by the loss of industry and jobs thanks to Margaret Thatcher’s policies.
“What has always added insult to injury is the fact there’s never been any apology from the Conservative Party for their actions in government during the strike.”
Julie James, Labour AM for Swansea West, backed the calls.
She said: “With recent documents revealing the secret planned closure of 75 coalmines and that political pressure was exhorted upon police chief constables, the need to apologise to those families affected by the then government’s actions during the strike has never been greater.
“With the 30th anniversary of the 1984 Miners’ Strike due to take place in March, it’s high time that we had justice for our coalfield communities.”
Prime Minister David Cameron has so far rejected calls for an apology for the government’s actions.