Ricky Tomlinson joins cry of cover-up over union arrests


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Indy Politics

The Government has been accused of a "significant cover-up" after it refused to release all of the documents relating to the 1973 arrests of 24 builders, including Royle Family actor Ricky Tomlinson, for going on strike.

Ministers released some documents marked "Top Secret" and refused to divulge other details of the arrests of the "Shrewsbury 24" for at least another decade for reasons of national security.

Mr Tomlinson joined politicians and union leaders in calling for action to tackle the "scandal".

The Shrewsbury 24 were arrested and charged under the 1875 Conspiracy Act, with six sent to prison. They were taking part in a national strike for better pay and conditions.

Campaigners have urged the Criminal Cases Review Commission to overturn the charges. The ban on divulging any remaining information will be reviewed in 2021.

Calling for the release of the papers, TUC General Secretary, Frances O'Grady, said: "If Ricky Tomlinson is a threat to national security, then every decent working man and woman in the country is a threat."