Shameless Tories who are planning to hold a party at the National Coal Mining Museum have been warned they will face protests if the event goes ahead.
The Dewsbury County Conservative Association have booked their annual dinner at the former coal mine turned museum in Wakefield, West Yorkshire – despite their party orchestrating the death of the industry.
The dinner, touted by the Tories as being held in a “venue with a difference”, is booked for March 2018 and will take place two days after the anniversary of the return to work at the end of the 1984-85 miners’ strike.
The move has prompted fury from former mine workers and their families, including those affected by the infamous “Battle of Orgreave”, who see it as a provocation given the Tories’ history of attacks on Britain’s mining communities.
Unite organiser and Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC) chair Joe Rollin (pictured) said, “It’s mind boggling that the Dewsbury Tories think it is appropriate to hold their annual dinner at the National Coal Miners Museum.
“Their party systematically destroyed the mining industry and the way of life of its workers. In the process, miners were brutalised and criminalised and the repercussions of the Conservative’s vindictive campaign are still being felt across coalfields more than 30 years later.
“While anyone – Tory or otherwise – is welcome in an individual capacity to attend the museum and learn about the proud history of mining communities and their industry, it is completely unacceptable for the Dewsbury Conservatives to hold a night of celebration on a site the Tories set about erasing.”
Rollin warned that if the dinner is not cancelled then protests will be held.
He said, “They have until the end of the week to cancel their shameless plans, otherwise we will be organising picket lines to greet guests on their way into the event.”
The OTJC, the Durham Miners Association and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) have demanded the museum’s trustees cancel the booking.
In a letter to the museum NUM general secretary Chris Kitchen said, “It is a matter of common knowledge that members of the Conservative Party conspired to close and destroy the coal industry in the UK.
“I think it wrong to allow the museum to be used by a political party that is clearly determined to keep rubbing salt into the wounds it created whenever it can.”
The OTJC is urging people to contact the museum to ask them to cancel the dinner.