Scargill in flat dispute with own union

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Arthur Scargill is being taken to court by his own trade union in a dispute over a luxury flat.

The former National Union of Miners chief, who lives in Barnsley, also has a £1.5 million luxury flat in London’s Barbican Centre, owned by the union.

It was first provided for the 73-year-old in 1982, when he regularly had to visit the capital for his duties as president of the organisation, including during the miners’ strike.

But the flat costs the union £34,000 a year in rent and bills - and the union’s membership has dwindled from 400,000 to 1,700.

The cost of the flat works out at £20 per year for each union member, which is viewed as unaffordable - when the union has even decided to do without a president to cut costs.

Mr Scargill, who remains honorary president of the NUM, has retained the London flat as part of his retirement package and refused to give it up.

The union is now taking legal action against him to remove the perk.

NUM general secretary Chris Kitchen said: “We’ve never before had a retired official who’s got his own home but still wants the union to rent him a second home in London.

“It’s regrettable we are having to wash our dirty linen in public but, unfortunately, Arthur isn’t known for backing down or compromising. But neither is the NUM.”

Mr Kitchen added: “We’re paying £34,000 a year for his flat. Our responsibility to pay that for the rest of his life somehow manifested itself into the last contract of employment he worked under, produced a couple of months before he retired in 2002.”

Mr Scargill was unavailable for comment.