07 July 1998
Blair considers rural affairs ministry

PRIME MINISTER Tony Blair has confirmed that consideration is being given to the suggestion that he should set up a ministry of rural affairs as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review.

The Governments findings are expected to be disclosed next week.

The Prime Minister also looks likely to make retailers and caterers pay for the Food Standards Agency, which will be set up in a bill in the next session of Parliament.

Critics say this will jeopardise the agencys independence.

This decision is also being taken as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review and it will be set out in a consultation paper within a few weeks.

The Welfare of Livestock (Amendment) Regulations are due to be discussed in the House of Lords today Tuesday.

  • The Independent 07/07/98 page 8
  • The Guardian 07/07/98 page 9