Labour MEPs demand investigation into historic miscarriages of justice

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Labour MEPs this week renewed their calls for a thorough investigation into a strike at Cammell Laird shipyard where strikers were arrested despite no laws being broken.

Jude Kirton-Darling MEP, member of the European Parliament petitions committee, last night called on the UK government to release all relevant papers and information to allow justice for Cammell Laird stikers and others in a similar position such as those at Orgreave.

She told MEPs:

“In 1984, 37 Cammell Laird shipyard workers were jailed for 30 days and lost their right to redundancy and a pension, as of a result of striking against politically motivated job cuts.

“Last year in the European Parliament petitions committee, Eddie Marnell, one of the people on strike at Cammell Laird, explained that in spite of the fact no law was broken, the strikers were never told why they were arrested.

“Investigations into historical miscarriages of justice, like the Battle of Orgreave, have shown that, despite denials from the then government, secret closure plans existed and Conservative ministers at the time sought to influence police tactics and put pressure on them to escalate industrial disputes.

“Access to official documents is key to ensuring justice for those on the receiving end.

“These workers’ fundamental rights were violated and the European Commission should press the UK government to release the information needed to ensure Cammell Laird workers and our coalfields get the long awaited justice they deserve.”

Theresa Griffin MEP, Labour MEP for the North West, added:

“It has been 30 years since the Cammell Laird strike and we need to get the information about what actually happened in 1984 and since. These strikers took lawful action, but suffered a terrible miscarriage of justice.

“I am convinced European law was contravened and I was delighted when the petitions committee, driven by a Labour MEP, agreed to hear their case last month. The committee condemned the UK’s action and has written to the UK government urging them to formally apologise to the workers.

“Labour MEPs will continue to fight, along with Eddie and the GMB, to make sure we get justice for all the Cammell Laird strikers and their families.”

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