NUM chief bought secret portfolio of overseas properties
Former Durham general secretary David Hopper grew rich on compensation awarded to miners, an investigation by The Times claims.
A former leader of the Durham National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and friend of Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of earning vast amounts of money in his role claiming compensation for miners who had become ill through their work.
Mr Hopper, who died in 2016, is alleged to have bought three properties in Cuba. The NUM also gifted him a £375,000 house in County Durham, The Times claims.
The Durham branch of the NUM, of which Mr Hopper was general secretary, made significant amounts of money from pressing a personal injury compensation scheme on behalf of former miners.
From the late 1990s, British Coal faced 760,000 compensation claims and was forced to pay damages totalling £4.1 billion.
Labour MP for North Durham Kevin Jones accused the NUM of lining its pockets, putting away ‘huge sums of money’ intended for injured miners.
He called it ‘a betrayal of the struggling mining communities [Mr Hopper] always claimed to represent’.
The Durham Miners Association, the successor to Durham NUM, admitted giving Mr Hopper a house in County Durham but claimed that it did not ‘provide assistance to enable him to acquire any other interest in property.’
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