In an article in the Guardian on 9th July 2016, it was stated that Tom Blenkinsop MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland had an invitation to the 132nd Durham Miners’ Gala withdrawn. This is untrue. No invitation was withdrawn, as Blenkinsopp was never invited in the first place and has never once received an invitation since his election in 2010.
Secondly, the claim by Mr Blenkinsop that Mr David Hopper, General Secretary of the Durham Miners’ Association receives a salary of 70k per year is a blatant lie and distortion. We are currently seeking legal advice regarding this false claim.
The 132nd Durham Miners' Gala will be remembered for a long time, as a record crowd filled the streets of Durham city. On the racecourse, the largest crowd for generations – including thousands of young people – gathered in an incredible show of support for the leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn and heard from supportive Labour MPs and trade union leaders including Dennis Skinner and Frances O'Grady.Read more
Contrary to recent press reports, Labour MPs who refused to support Jeremy Corbyn in the recent vote of confidence have not been "banned" or "barred" from attending this year's Gala. The Gala is a public event which anyone can attend.
However, the invitations to attend the official Durham Miners’ Association events and functions, stand on the balcony of the County Hotel and grace the platform on the Racecourse have been rescinded.
Jeremy Corbyn is a guest of the Durham Miners’ Association at this year’s Gala and we will not allow those who have sought to humiliate him and undermine the democratic process in the Labour Party the honour of taking part in the aforementioned Gala traditions.
Dave Hopper, General Secretary, Durham Miners' Association
Monday 4th July 2016
I would first like to extend my deepest sympathy to the husband of Jo Cox, her young children and her wider family and friends who loved. She was an outstanding Memberof Parliament, a deeply committed humanitarian and the labour movement can ill afford to lose such a valued and dedicated comrade.Read more
A group of so-called Labour MPs appear to have conspired to use the vote on EU membership - called by our political enemies the Tories - as an excuse to overthrow our democratically elected leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn.
These people, many of whom are unheard of, cannot stand any form of democracy and appear to be interested only in themselves. They are attempting to blame Corbyn for the way people of this country have voted in a democratic referendum on EU membership. Do they really believe that ordinary voters do not know how they should vote?Read more
Hillsborough campaigner, Margaret Aspinall speaking at the Durham Miners' Gala in 2013
The Durham Miners' Association welcomes the jury's decision of unlawful killing of 96 people in the Hillsborough Inquest.This decision totally vindicates the supporters of Liverpool F.C. and condemns the actions of the South Yorkshire Police on that dreadful day.Read more
Over the years, the Durham Miners’ Gala – Britain’s biggest and most historic trade union celebration – has welcomed people from all over the world.
We have a proud history of standing up against fascism and racism. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, where the Durham miners stood in solidarity with the Spanish Republic against the menace of fascism and miners from across the Durham coalfield joined the fight to defend democracy. In later decades, during the horrendous Apartheid regime in South Africa, black South African miners were invited to spend time with the families of Durham miners, where they were welcomed into our communities and treated like brothers and sisters.Read more
Jeremy Corbyn addressing the Durham Miners' Gala, July 2015. (Photo: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
Since Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader of the Labour Party, receiving the biggest democratic mandate in the party’s history, he has been subjected to a torrent of unfair criticism. Day in and day out, newspapers from across the political spectrum have relentlessly tried to misrepresent Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters.Read more
Unfurling a new Trimdon Grange Banner 19th July 1963. Left to right R. Beamson, Anthony Greathead, R. Bellas, J. Slater MP, J. Fletcher, R. Pratt, T. Bentham, Harold Wilson MP, K. Fairless, M. Pratt, T. Dalkin and J. Ford
The First World War was entering its second year of carnage when Anthony Greathead was born. He was in his last year at the junior school during the 1926 lockout and, in 1929, at the age of 14 he started work as a trapper boy, opening and closing the ventilation doors, at Deaf Hill colliery.Read more