FORMER miners have been condemned for singing ‘Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead’ at a party on Margaret Thatcher’s funeral day.

Miners’ leaders were split over whether they were marking 20 years since Easington colliery closed or celebrating the death of the former Prime Minister when they gathered at the east Durham village’s club last Wednesday; and no reporters were allowed inside.

However, video footage has been posted on the YouTube website showing a packed club singing and clapping along to The Wizard of Oz song, which reached number two in the music charts after becoming the anti-Lady Thatcher protests’ theme tune.

The 63-second clip, apparently filmed from on stage, shows a man in a witch’s hat dancing on the dancefloor.

A steward takes his drink away, but he continues dancing, much to the approval of the audience. At one point, it appears someone on stage joins in.

James Wharton, Conservative MP for Stockton South, said: “This complete lack of ability of those who organised and ran this party to show respect for an 87-year-old grandmother who was our first woman Prime Minister and the longest serving Prime Minister of the 20th Century on the day of her funeral brings nothing but shame on them.

“It’s no good for the image of the North-East and it’s damaging to the region’s reputation.”

Alan Cummings, the Durham Miners’ Association (DMA) chairman who denied the event would be a party, refused to comment.

However, DMA secretary Dave Hopper, who predicted a “good knees-up”, said he had been informed of the incident and had no objections.

“We had over 700 in the club and overspill in the welfare hall.

“The atmosphere was electric. It was a brilliant day. We’re delighted with it. It couldn’t have been better.

“We had a great time. Everybody’s overjoyed with how it went,” he said.

The event featured comedians, music and punk poet John Baine, aka Attila the Stockbroker.

Club vice-chairman Tom Fenwick, who said nothing disrespectful would be allowed, could not be contacted for comment.