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From working miner to cabinet minister: 30 years on from the mining strikes

Some say the Miners strike 30 years ago was the closest this country came to civil war. East Midlands pits were the battleground. Coach loads of pickets clashed with police and working miners who had defied the strike call.

For the third of our anniversary special reports, our Political Correspondent Alison Mackenzie spoke to Cabinet Minister and Derbyshire Dales MP Patrick McLoughlin. Today he's the Secretary of State for Transport. In 1984 he was a working miner.

Transport Secretary to be quizzed over HS2 report

Transport Secretary and Derbyshire Dales MP, Patrick McLoughlin, will be questioned by a committee today over criticism that a report in September over-estimated the economic benefits of HS2.

Patrick McLoughlin MP Credit: David Jones/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Phase one of the project will link London to the West Midlands. Phase two will travel through the East Midlands.

A report by KPMG said the project would boost the economy by £15billion a year.


Formal consultation of next HS2 stage begins today

The formal consultation for the next stage of HS2 begins today.

The government wants to extend the proposed line between London and Birmingham - up to Manchester and Leeds.

At a meeting in Manchester today Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin will urge business leaders to ensure the High Speed Rail project creates the maximum amount of jobs.

More than 700 graduate trainees and apprentices are already working on the first London-Birmingham phase of HS2.

He said: "It's very important that we make sure the city is well tied into HS2, but also that we get the right skills."