£50 car offer to Scargill was a bit much: trustee

Arthur Scargill leaving court.
Arthur Scargill leaving court.
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TRUSTEES who offered former miners’ leader Arthur Scargill just £50 towards a car thought that was still ‘a bit much’, a court heard.

Mr Scargill is taking legal action against the National Union of Mineworkers, where he was honorary president until December, in a row over perks.

Sheffield County Court heard the 74-year-old hoped to receive 80 per cent of the cost of a Ford Mondeo. But in January 2011 trustees of the Yorkshire Area Trust Fund offered him £50.

Judge Robert Moore asked trustee James Kelly: “Let’s grasp the nettle, was that the smallest amount of money you thought you could get away with?”

Mr Kelly replied: “We were told we would have to make some remuneration. That’s what we felt. Some of us felt that was a bit much.”

Mr Scargill, of Worsbrough Bridge, Barnsley, claims he is owed over £15,000 towards car costs and other benefits under his old employment contract.

The court heard that the trust fund was in a ‘healthy’ financial position, with 2009 accounts showing it held £11.7 million.

Mr Kelly and fellow trustee John Gibson said they saw ‘no work’ to give Mr Scargill before his contract ended.

But in October 2010 it had been arranged that Chris Kitchen, Yorkshire Area Secretary, would be Scargill’s line manager.

James Laddy, for the NUM, said there were ‘difficulties’ between the pair. A judgement on the trial is expected on Tuesday.