This post is by Stephen Tindale, climate and energy consultant and associate fellow at the Centre for European Reform. It was first published on Climate Answers.
In the 20th century, the British political party which supported the coal industry was Labour. The relationship between the Tories and the miners was confrontational. A miners’ strike contributed to Edward Heath’s loss of power. The miners then tried to bring the Thatcher government down in 1984-85.
However, thirty years on, it is a Conservative-led coalition which is planning to keep coal power stations open through public subsidy, supported by the Liberal Democrats in an apparent retreat from their longstanding climate commitments. And Labour is opposing coal subsidies to unabated coal, despite its leader and shadow energy and climate secretary having constituencies in Doncaster, a historic coal community. Read more