VIDEO: Miners stage rally in fight to save doomed Kellingley Colliery

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Hundreds of people marched through the streets of Knottingley to persuade the government to help save Kellingley Colliery from imminent closure.

Pit operators UK Coal plans to close the site by the end of this year with the loss of 700 jobs.

Marching to save  Kellingley Colliery, Knottingley.....SH100120360t..31st January 2015 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

Marching to save Kellingley Colliery, Knottingley.....SH100120360t..31st January 2015 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

But campaigners want the government to accept a current state aid bid to keep the colliery open until the end of 2018.

Miners were joined by supporters form across the country for Saturday’s march as well as Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper, Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner and Swansea MP Sian James.

Fellow workers from Hatfield and Thorseby collieries - which are also earmarked for closure - took part in the event which also included a rally at Kellingley Miners’ Welfare Club.

Ms Cooper said: “It is 30 years since the end of the strike and people round here haven’t forgotten the fight to keep our pits open.

“The other pits have closed and now Kellingley is threatened and government ministers need to act fast or it will be too late. There simply isn’t any more time for them to delay or find excuses.

Chris Kitchen, general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers, said: “We have seen a managed decline of the British deep mined coal industry even though we still rely on coal to keep the lights on. Over 30 per cent of our electricity is generated from coal, this should be British mined coal keeping British mining jobs and skills, not imported.”