A Scottish Government consultation on the pardoning of miners found guilty of offenses during the 1984-85 strikes shows overwhelming support from responses. Eighty-seven per cent of responses supported pardoning breaches of the peace, and 86% supported pardons in relation to breaches of bail.
Miners across the UK went on strike following plans to close mines. The National Coal Board sought to shut 70 mines, leading to the loss of 70,000 jobs. The striking miners were referred to as “the enemy within” by then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and cabinet papers revealed discussions regarding how to “stiffen the resolve of chief constables” and expedite cases to punish miners more quickly.
An independent review conducted last October by John Scott QC recommended that the Scottish Government should introduce legislation aimed at pardoning convictions related to the strikes. Humza Yousaf, Justice Secretary at the time, accepted the recommendation.