Miners who were convicted during the 1980s strikes will receive a formal pardon, it has been announced.

Those convicted of breach of the peace and similar crimes will have the offences forgiven under a Bill which will be presented to the Scottish Parliament.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf updated MSPs on an independent review into convictions for offences during the 1984/85 strike on Wednesday.

Glasgow Times:

The review proposed that miners who were convicted of breach of the peace and similar offences be given a pardon.

Millions of people protested against pit closures during the industrial dispute with Margaret Thatcher’s government.

Campaigners said the convictions effectively “blacklisted” those taking part in the strike from future employment.

Several former miners gathered outside Holyrood ahead of the statement.

Mr Yousaf said: “Although more than three decades have passed since the main miners’ dispute, the scars from the experience still run deep.

“The report indicates that in some areas of the country, the sense of having been hurt and wronged remains corrosive and alienating.

“This was true for many who were caught up directly in the dispute – and also for their families and communities.”

He said 200 Scottish miners were dismissed during the strike, 30% of the total number of UK dismissals.

The report, chaired by lawyer John Scott QC, made a single recommendation that “subject to establishing suitable criteria, the Scottish Government should introduce legislation to pardon men convicted for matters related to the strike”.

Glasgow Times:

Mr Yousaf said the Scottish Government accepted the principle of the recommendation and would bring forward legislation which would “give a collective pardon to miners convicted for matters related to the strike”.

This would run in a similar manner to the pardons issued by the Armed Forces Act 2006, he said, which recognised the exceptional circumstances of soldiers convicted of cowardice during the First World War.

Mr Yousaf continued: “This is a collective pardon, which applies posthumously and to those living, and symbolises our desire as a country for truth and reconciliation, following the decades of hurt and anger and misconceptions which were generated by one of the most bitter and divisive industrial disputes in living memory.

“The Scottish Government will right the wrong done to our miners.”

The pardon would not require individuals to apply, he said, and the government would “consider carefully” the nature of the legislation.

The Justice Secretary said these moves would help to “heal the wounds of the past” and “recognise that between miners and police officers there was a thread of common humanity”.