4 Oct 2012

Scargill’s silence over expenses case

Former miners’ union leader Arthur Scargill didn’t have a lot to say to Channel 4 News as he emerged from court in a row over who’s paying for his flat. Katie Razzall has the story.

Arthur Scargill didn’t want to talk to Channel 4 News as he left the High Court today.

Inside he’d been giving evidence in front of Mr Justice Underhill. This judge will decide whether the former NUM President is entitled to have the rents and expenses for a flat in central London paid for by the union for the rest of his life – or the rest of the life of his wife, were he to marry.

The NUM is fed up forking out £34,000 a year and is refusing to carry on doing so. Mr Scargill says it’s in his contract – and told the judge the practice had also applied to his predecessor.

When Arthur Scargill left the court, I asked him whether he had a message for NUM members and whether he felt he needed a flat in London when he owned a house in Yorkshire.

The normally vocal ex-president wouldn’t say a word. Instead, rather strangely, he stopped in front of our camera and silently stared at me and down the lens for several minutes before heading off to hail a taxi.

Only he knows what he meant by the silence and the hard stares. It’s certainly a first for me as a journalist.