20 October 1999
Gwyther refuses to quit

CHRISTINE Gwyther, the Welsh assemblys agriculture secretary, refused to resign yesterday in spite of a motion of censure against her.

This was passed by the three main opposition parties.

The assembly voted 30 to 27 following criticism of Ms Gwythers failure to get the go-ahead from the European Commission for a £750,000 aid package for dairy farmers.

The minister announced the scheme to dispose of calves to reduce oversupply in September but was forced to retract it last week.

She admitted she did not know of a problem with the package until just before meeting Franz Fischler, the European agriculture commissioner, reports the Financial Times.

Ms Gwythers appointment as agriculture minister sparked controversy, as she is a vegetarian.