18 June 1999
Rural Labour MPs want vote-winners

APPREHENSION is hanging over some 180 Labour MPs who represent rural seats as the next election draws ever closer, reports the Financial Times.

Many rural Labour MPs are feeling most vulnerable to a Conservative revival and are lobbying hard for policies to appeal to their constituents.

The newspaper reports a “clamour” at this weeks meeting of Labour backbenchers for a countryside bill to be included in the Queens speech.

Such a bill could include measures to enshrine “the right to roam” and to protect special environmental sites.

A Labour group of MPs representing country constituencies has published a “rural audit” outlining many of the social problems facing their constituents.

The newspaper also reports that Tony Blair has told his ministers to drop “boring” bills from the Queens Speech.

  • Financial Times 18/06/99 page 10