A SCOTTISH trade unionist described as one of the country’s “greatest working-class heroes” is a step closer to being immortalised in Holyrood.

Mick McGahey was president of the National Union of Mineworkers Scottish Area (NUM) for 20 years until 1987 and played a pivotal role in the miners’ strike of 1984 and 85.

Labour MSP Richard Leonard (below) is supporting the NUM’s campaign to erect a bust of the former trade unionist in Holyrood to mark the 25th anniversary of his death from January 30.

The National:

McGahey was also a passionate advocate of devolution and the establishment of a Scottish Parliament.

A parliamentary motion tabled by Leonard has attracted cross-party support and could be debated in the new year.

It describes McGahey as a “miner, intellectual, activist, agitator” and recognises “his contribution, based on unerring principles, to advancing the interests of the working class”.

“Mick McGahey was quite simply one of Scotland’s greatest working-class heroes,” Leonard said.

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“He fought for jobs, justice and equality, and was a visionary who provided the spark which re-ignited the flame for the establishment of the Scottish Parliament half a century ago.

“It would be a fitting tribute for the Parliament to hold a permanent reminder of his contribution to our history.”

The motion also calls on MSPs to erect a bust of McGahey in the Scottish Parliament.