5 April 2000
Minister hints that Winnie must go

A GOVERNMENT minister has dropped a heavy official hint that he wants Winnie the pig removed from her pen in Parliament Square.

Winnie has become a celebrity in the capital as the focal point of a vigil by the National Pig Association protesting at the state of their industry.

In a written Commons answer, Home Office minister Charles Clarke warned that the use of Parliament Square requires the permission of the Royal Parks Agency.

He said this had not been given to the pig farmers.

Mr Clarke said any action to remove the protestors was a matter for the agency.

However, the Royal Parks Agency said it had no plans to remove Winnie.

One agency source said it would be difficult to move Winnie as this would require a special swine movement order.

The Express reckons Winnies attempt to enter the race for London Mayor on Monday (3 April) may have prompted Labour to “launch a dirty tricks campaign” against her.

Frontrunner Ken Livingstone has complained of a smear campaign against him.

Winnies bid to emulate Dick Whittington was foiled when officials rejected her 10,000 candidacy cheque from that little-known financial establishment, Piggybank plc.