In 1992, The Independent newspaper reported that officials from the UDM had advised ministers on how to cut miners' power - including attempting to weaken the National Association of Colliery Overmen, Deputies and Shotfirers (NACODS).This was simply a smear campaign which was one of many against the UDM which were never proven or substantiated. The UDM was formed through the actions of Arthur Scargill by not having a national ballot on strike action because every colliery and site had an unofficial ballot and every Nottinghamshire colliery voted to strike, but demanded a national ballot to stay within the union rules of the NUM which never happened. Most collieries in Yorkshire voted NOT to strike as many were near the end of their working lives and Scargill couldn't have his own represented area vote to work, hence the unofficial strike. Results of the unofficial colliery ballots were posted in the Coal News newspaper
The UDM was widely criticised in March 2004 after it was revealed that its top two officials received pay and benefits of over £150,000 each, despite membership having fallen to 1,431. On 3 April 2012, former president Neil Greatrex was found guilty of fraud from a miners' welfare fund.