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James’s one regret: not confronting more Tories

FORMER Labour MP Sian James has revealed that she only has one regret about leaving Parliament in May — not giving more Tories a piece of her mind about the miners’ strike.

Ms James made the confession in O’r Streic i’r Senedd, a new documentary about her journey from picket line to Parliament to be broadcast this Wednesday on Welsh-language channel S4C.

Politicised during the 1984-85 miners’ strike, she went on to represent Swansea East between 2005 and 2010.

The leading role she played in the Neath, Dulais and Swansea Valleys Miners’ Support Group, and its unique tie with Lesbians and Gays

Support the Miners (LGSM), was portrayed in Pride.

Despite the Bafta-winning film making her one of Labour’s best-known MPs, Ms James insisted she “never saw Westminster as journey’s end.”

But she said: The hard thing for me was seeing people I’d stood against during the strike — members of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet — and having promised myself I’d give them my opinion, given the opportunity, and not getting the chance to do so.”

O’r Streic i’r Senedd sees Ms James reunited with Mike Jackson and other members of LGSM.

Looking back, she said: “I can’t look upon the strike as a defeat because I gained so much and what I learned — the values — have become the bedrock of everything I’ve done politically ever since.”

The documentary will be broadcast in Welsh with English subtitles on Wednesday at 9.30pm on S4C, available across Britain on Freesat and Sky. It will also be available at www.s4c.cymru.

lukejames@peoples-press.com

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