Arthur Scargill (born 11 January 1938) is a British trade unionist and politician who was president of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) from 1982 to 2002. Joining the NUM at the age of 19 in 1957, he became one of its leading activists in the late 1960s. In 1973, he was instrumental in organising the miners' strike that toppled Edward Heath's Conservative Government in March 1974. A decade later, he led the union through the 1984–85 miners' strike, a key event in British labour and political history. It was a confrontation with the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher, and the miners' union was decisively defeated. A former Labour Party member, he is now the leader of the Socialist Labour Party (SLP), which he founded in 1996.
Scargill was born in Worsbrough Dale, Barnsley, West Riding of Yorkshire. His father, Harold, was a miner and a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain. His mother Alice (née Pickering) was a professional cook. He did not take the Eleven plus exam and went to Worsbrough Dale School (now called the Elmhirst School). He left at 15 to become a coal miner at Woolley Colliery in 1953, where he remained for 19 years.
Scargill became involved in the Yorkshire Left, a group of left-wing activists involved in the Yorkshire region of the NUM, its largest region. He played an important role in the miners' strike of 1972 and was involved in the mass picket at Saltley Gate in Birmingham...
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