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Thatcher considered deploying troops in miners' strike

Margaret Thatcher considered calling on troops at the height of the miners' strike amid fears union action could destroy her government, according to newly-declassified files.

A Kent picketer clasps hands with a miner outside Cortonwood Colliery in Yorkshire. Credit: PA Archive

Government papers from 1984, released by the National Archives, show ministers were so concerned at the outbreak of a national docks strike while the miners were still out, they considered declaring a state of emergency.

Plans were drawn up for thousands of service personnel to commandeer trucks to move vital supplies of food and coal around the country.

It is thought to be the closest Mrs Thatcher came to defeat in her battle with the miners but the scheme was never implements after the dockers' action petered out after less than two weeks.