Miners deal blow to Scargill party

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The Independent Online

Labour Editor

Arthur Scargill's Socialist Labour Party has sustained its most significant blow yet after the miners' leader abandoned attempts to persuade his own union to fund it.

Having failed to make substantial inroads into the Labour Party vote at the recent Hemsworth by-election in Yorkshire, Mr Scargill has found limited support for the new party among activists in the National Union of Mineworkers. The NUM President has advised his supporters in his Yorkshire powerbase that a motion to switch the union's allegiance from Labour to the SLP was "out of order". This is thought to be an implicit acknowledgement that the proposition would fail to achieve the two-thirds majority required at the annual conference in July.

Mr Scargill's supporters initially planned to table a proposition at the Yorkshire Area Council to disaffiliate from Labour because it no longer represented "the working class in general or miners in particular".

Many of the members of the NUM's Yorkshire Area Council are Labour councillors who were strongly opposed to the new party.