'˜It's sad', say Tories after National Coal Mining Museum dinner cancelled

A Tory party branch has expressed its disappointment at having to find a new venue for a party it booked at the National Coal Mining Museum.

Dewsbury County Conservative Association had its annual dinner cancelled after complaints and the threat of a mass picket at the event, planned for March 10.

It would have been held two days after the anniversary of the return to work of miners who were on strike for a year in 1984-5 in a dispute with the Tory government of Margaret Thatcher.

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Asparagus Green Catering, functions contractor for the Overton museum, said it cancelled the drinks reception and dinner yesterday for safety reasons.

In response the Conservative association said: “It’s sad that the company organising the event has now decided to cancel the Dewsbury County Conservative Association annual dinner, after initially agreeing to host it, because they can’t guarantee their own staff’s safety.

“We chose the mining museum as it suited our needs in terms of size and location and we wanted to support what is a great community venture.”

Complaints had been made by the National Union of Mineworkers and Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign.

The Tory association was accused of “rubbing salt in the wounds” of former mining communities by choosing the museum as the venue.