7 November 2000
‘Ministers look to Brynle the mediator’

By FWi staff

MINISTERS are gambling on Welsh farmer Brynle Williams acting as a mediator with angry fuel tax protesters, claimsThe Times.

This follows a meeting on Monday (07 Nov) between Mr Williams, who led a group of demonstrators in September, and transport minister Lord Macdonald.

The newspaper says the government is planning to use Mr Williams as a go-between if Wednesdays (08 Nov) Pre-Budget statement provokes anger from protesters.

Welsh secretary Paul Murphy is due to visit Mr Williams farm on Friday (10 Nov) when the reaction to Chancellor Gordon Browns statement will be clear.

Addressing the Confederation of British Industry annual conference on Monday, Mr Brown insisted he would not give in to unaffordable demands.

On Mondays evening Mr Williams appealed for calm among those anxious for a cut in fuel tax and made it clear he opposed any unlawful protests.

Meanwhile, the public are backing away from fuel tax protests, according to a new survey for The Guardian. It found only 55% supported blockades.