Durham miners boss makes ‘veiled threat’ to Tory MPs

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Who should be able to celebrate Durham's proud legacy of mining? Maybe those who represent the miners' constituencies in Westminster? Not according to the man who organises the annual miners gala, which takes place every July. Durham Miners president Alan Mardghum told the BBC:

'To paraphrase Johnson, I'd rather be found dead in a ditch than invite them or Johnson to the gala... Why would we invite Tories to the Durham Miners' Gala?'

Never mind that many ex-miners voted Conservative at the general election and one former pit man is now a Tory MP.

So what is Mardghum's advice to Tories who do decide to ignore his snub and come to celebrate their voters' history?

'I can't stop them from coming into Durham, it's a free country, but I would suggest that if any of them are thinking of coming in that they speak to the police... They might need to speak to the police to make sure that they're safe on the day.'

Newly-elected Tory MP for Bishop Auckland Dehenna Davison (who was born three years after the hated Mrs Thatcher left office) decided she would be standing with her Durham constituents:

Davison isn't the only one. North West Durham MP Richard Holden said he would be accompanying Davison, branding the comments a 'veiled threat'. The Tory MP for Middlesbrough claimed that he represents more miners than any other parliamentarian before denouncing Mardghum's 'idiocy'.

Mr S wonders whether he can get his name on Mardghum's exclusive guest list...

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to

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