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24 September 2014
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Kinnock "detests" Scargill

As the 20th anniversary of the miners' strike approaches, former Labour Leader Neil Kinnock has admitted for the first time that he "detests" former National Union of Miners president Arthur Scargill.

Speaking in a television interview for a BBC Wales documentary The Coal War (Monday, March 8, BBC ONE Wales), Kinnock - now a European Commissioner - also reveals that the astonishing animosity between the pair of key players in the 1984-85 miners' strike is mutual.

"Oh I detest him (Scargill)", says the former MP for Islwyn.

"I did then, I do now, and it's mutual. He hates me as well. And I'd much prefer to have his savage hatred than even the merest hint of friendship from that man."

In the 50 minute programme Kinnock, who was elected leader of the Labour Party a few months before the strike began, also confesses that his biggest regret was not to call for a national ballot.

He says he was determined not to give Arthur Scargill what he calls an alibi.

The ill-feeling between Kinnock and Scargill vividly illustrates the tense undercurrents which prevailed during the strike, and which continue today.

"It's unlikely that we will ever see the likes of the miners' strike again," says The Coal War presenter and BBC Wales Political Editor David Williams.

"But the passage of time has not healed the deep wounds which opened up in a dispute which degenerated into open warfare," he added.



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