12 June 1998
Cunningham puts farming before football

By FWi staff

AGRICULTURE minister Jack Cunningham will put business before pleasure later this month when he chairs a meeting of his European counterparts.

Dr Cunningham was offered tickets to watch a World Cup football match in France. But he turned them down because the match clashes with his official duties as President of the European Agriculture Council.

EU agriculture ministers meet in Luxembourg on 22 June. But that is also the day when England plays Romania.

“I wont be there, I regret to say,” Dr Cunningham said on BBC televisions Question Time last night (Thursday).

“I was asked to be at one of the games but its my bad luck that it coincides with the next and final session of the Agriculture Council. So I wont be able to sneak off and play hookey, unfortunately.”

Dr Cunningham is a life-long football fan. At an informal meeting of EU agriculture ministers last month, he presented ministers from each member state with their own Newcastle United shirt – the team he supports.