York & North Yorkshire

Last Kellingley coal miners will receive severance pay

Image caption Concerns had been raised that the last miners to work at Kellingley Colliery would not recieve the same redundancy settlements as those at other mines

Fears the final 450 miners to work at Britain's last deep coal pit will not receive severance packages have been allayed with the government confirming they will get 12 weeks of average pay.

Kellingley Colliery will close on 18 December, bringing to an end centuries of deep coal mining in Britain.

Labour MP Yvette Cooper said there was "no certainty" workers would receive the same deal as other miners.

But Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom confirmed UK Coal was able to pay.

Speaking at a debate in the House of Commons, Ms Cooper said: "What they've got at the end of decades of keeping our lights on, powering our factories, fuelling the nation, they've got the worst deal of any of the hundreds of thousands of miners who have left the industry over many decades."

She said she feared the last miners at Kellingley in North Yorkshire would not receive the same severance packages handed to miners at Thoresby colliery, which closed in July.

However, Ms Leadsom said UK Coal was in a position to pay thanks to a previous government cash injection.

She said: "I would like to emphasise to you that thanks to the excellent work of the miners and the £10m cash injection, UK Coal has enough cash to be able to pay the Kellingley miners being made redundant this month the same severance package as the miners at Thoresby received."

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