Provocative plans to hold a Tory party celebration at the National Coal Mining Museum have been cancelled following a mass outcry.
Shameless Dewsbury County Conservative Association planned to hold their annual dinner at the former Wakefield coal mine in March, but the event has now been cancelled after protests were threatened.
The proposed dinner – which was described as “dancing on the grave of our industry” by a former miner – would have taken place just two days after the anniversary of the return to work following the end of the 1984/85 miners’ strike.
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said Dewsbury County Conservative Association were “rubbing salt in the wounds” of mining communities, whose way of life had been wrecked by the Tories.
Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC) chair Jo Rollin said, “The OTJC felt we had no option but to organise opposition and a peaceful picket at the planned event and are relieved that we no longer need to spend our time on this.
“We can now concentrate on getting truth and justice for the miners brutalised at Orgreave without having to deal with other upsetting and inconsiderate distractions.”
The decision to cancel the dinner was taken by the museum’s catering contractor.
Asparagus Green Catering pulled out “in light of complaints and comments that have been made by telephone, e-mail and social media platforms”.
The move was backed by the museum’s trustees who said “proposed actions by protestors to organise pickets” meant the dinner could not go ahead.
Unite Community Yorkshire co-ordinator John Coan said the union was pleased the dinner had been cancelled.
He said, “It would have been incredibly insensitive to hold such an event at the heart of one of our former coal mining communities. Cancelling the dinner was the right decision to make.”