South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has welcomed the news that former miners convicted during the year-long strike in the 1980s are to receive a pardon from the Scottish Government- and praised local mining communities for their “long, hard struggle to achieve justice”.

It is believed about 1,400 miners were arrested and more than 500 were convicted during the national dispute.

A review commissioned by Scottish Government ministers said it was unlikely many of the miners would face prosecution for their actions today.

The year-long strike resulted from a dispute between the mining unions and the national coal board as pits across Scotland were earmarked for closure.

Colin Smyth has welcomed the move which came after years of campaigning.

He said: “This is a historic day for many ex miners and their families. Our mining communities have fought a long, hard struggle to achieve justice and we should be proud of them.

“These convictions were a travesty and as the report rightly states, it is very unlikely many of the miners would have faced prosecution for their actions today.

“Many former miners and their families have waited years for this – they have paid a heavy price for their convictions.

“The impact on those with convictions was devastating – many lost their jobs, their redundancy and their health and wellbeing as a result, with others blacklisted due to union activity and convictions.

“There are also many who were convicted who have now passed away, but I hope this

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