HERE for Tony Dowling's full report of Saturday's Miners' Gala:
'Accompanied by trade union banners representing over 70 organisations & 40 brass bands, tens of thousands marched through Duham city centre on Saturday to the "big meeting" marking the 126th Durham Miners’ Gala.
Speakers at this year’s Gala included former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn, PSC assistant general secretary Chris Baugh and Nour Alabassi, women’s representative of the Jafra Palestine Refugee Centre in Damascus. And, as ever, the former Labour minister Tony Benn also joined the platform.
Speaking at the ‘big meeting’ for the first time, Ken Livingstone admitted his biggest mistake as mayor was, “not inviting the Durham Miners Gala to come to London & march through Oxford Street & Hyde Park & show the people of London that working class culture that you have kept & invented.”
He said that the Gala celebrates the tradition of the labour movement, but also celebrates the culture of the working class of this country in a way that very few points in the cultural institutions actually do.'