Wales

1980s miners' strike union figure Terry Thomas dies

Terry Thomas in the 1980s
Image caption Terry Thomas being interviewed by the BBC in the 1980s

A leading union figure during the miners' strike in the 1980s has died.

Terry Thomas was vice president of the South Wales NUM between 1983 and 1989, and also served as a chairman of the Wales Executive Committee of the Labour Party.

After the strike, he worked for the GMB union in Wales and the West of England before he retired.

It is understood Mr Thomas died on Sunday, aged 78. He is survived by his daughter and grandchildren.

Two years ago, Mr Thomas told a conference marking the 30th anniversary of the 1984-85 strike, that he supported the action initially, but became increasingly disillusioned.

He eventually led the return to work after accusing the NUM leader Arthur Scargill of "abdicating his leadership".

Mr Thomas said he was kicked and spat at for advocating a return to work.

Caerphilly MP Wayne David said he remembered Mr Thomas as a "stalwart" of the NUM.

"He was a great figure. A great public speaker. Someone who understood the Labour party and the Labour movement," he said.

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