27 September 2000
Farmers threaten more action on fuel

By FWi staff

FARMERS angered at hearing no reassurance from Tony Blair of a possible reduction in fuel tax are considering returning to the picket lines.

In his keynote speech at the Labour Party conference in Brighton, Mr Blair said he was listening to farmers – but would not cut taxes at the expense of public services.

The Farmers For Action group has called an emergency meeting and will decide whether to take renewed action, reports the BBC Radio 4 Farming Today programme.

North-east protest leader Andrew Spence said a meeting of FFA members in his area would take place within the next day of so.

He said many FFA members felt the government was not interested in the British people, who overwhelmingly supported fuel protests earlier in the month.

“Weve called for a vote on who says we should return to the picket duty,” said Mr Spence.

Mr Spence insisted farmers did not want to picket oil refineries again within the 60-day deadline protesters gave ministers, as this would hurt their allies in the public.

But he added: “Theres quite a few more targets that can be had.”

Mr Spence would not be drawn on these alternative “targets” but warned: “The Government neednt think they are safe in London.”