Page last updated at 22:18 GMT, Thursday, 12 March 2009

Actor calls for strike 'justice'

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Ricky Tomlinson says he and his colleagues were victims of a miscarriage of justice

Ricky Tomlinson has repeated his call for an inquiry to clear his name and those of 23 building workers convicted of picketing offences in 1973.

The Royle Family star served 16 months of a two-year prison sentence for his part in a national builders' strike.

He was among a group of trade unionists known as the Shrewsbury 24 who were jailed for conspiracy.

At Parliament on Thursday, the Merseyside actor and the surviving members of the group lobbied MPs.

'State conspiracy'

"We want a pardon and a public inquiry into the prosecution and the trials," he said.

"We were the victims of a state conspiracy.

"I have tried using the Freedom of Information Act to see documents connected to the case but the Home Office has blocked their release. Why?"

Tomlinson, who worked as a building site plasterer in the 1970s, took part in picketing to try to persuade other building workers to join a strike.

He and 23 others were later charged and convicted under the Conspiracy Act.

He told MPs that government documents relating to the case from 1973, when the Conservatives were in power, had been kept secret on the grounds of national security.

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