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UK: Thousands protest closure of UK's last deep coal mine02:36

UK: Thousands protest closure of UK's last deep coal mine

United Kingdom, Knottingley
December 19, 2015 at 23:21 GMT +00:00 · Published

Thousands of miners and their families marched through Knottingley, north Yorkshire, Saturday, following the closure of the nearby Kellingley Colliery mine on Friday. Kellingley was Britain’s last coal pit; its closure marks an end of an era for the UK’s once thriving coal industry.

The march was organised by Lisa Cheney and Kirsten Sinclair, whose partners worked at the Kellingley colliery. During the protest, two former miners burned a banner reading: "Save fuel, burn a Tory Scab."

Labour MP Yvette Cooper, whose Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford constituency is located close to the colliery, took part in the march. Discussing the closure of the mine Cooper said: "The miners who left yesterday, who’ve been loyal to the industry to the very end, have ended up with just the basic statutory pay, I don’t think that’s fair. They got a better deal under Margaret Thatcher, so I think the Tory government has badly let people down.”

Cooper went on to accuse the Conservative government of betraying the miners. "You do need new technology, you do need new ideas but if you could bring the new ideas with the traditional skills and expertise in the coal industry that we’ve had for so long we felt that actually that is what the government should of been backing, and I think the government have betrayed the miners," she stated.

Gary Ward, a Kellingley Colliery miner who lost his job yesterday, denounced the Conservative government and said that the closure of the mine was "not an economic thing, it’s political.”

UK: Thousands protest closure of UK's last deep coal mine02:36
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Thousands of miners and their families marched through Knottingley, north Yorkshire, Saturday, following the closure of the nearby Kellingley Colliery mine on Friday. Kellingley was Britain’s last coal pit; its closure marks an end of an era for the UK’s once thriving coal industry.

The march was organised by Lisa Cheney and Kirsten Sinclair, whose partners worked at the Kellingley colliery. During the protest, two former miners burned a banner reading: "Save fuel, burn a Tory Scab."

Labour MP Yvette Cooper, whose Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford constituency is located close to the colliery, took part in the march. Discussing the closure of the mine Cooper said: "The miners who left yesterday, who’ve been loyal to the industry to the very end, have ended up with just the basic statutory pay, I don’t think that’s fair. They got a better deal under Margaret Thatcher, so I think the Tory government has badly let people down.”

Cooper went on to accuse the Conservative government of betraying the miners. "You do need new technology, you do need new ideas but if you could bring the new ideas with the traditional skills and expertise in the coal industry that we’ve had for so long we felt that actually that is what the government should of been backing, and I think the government have betrayed the miners," she stated.

Gary Ward, a Kellingley Colliery miner who lost his job yesterday, denounced the Conservative government and said that the closure of the mine was "not an economic thing, it’s political.”