THE COUNTRYSIDE Alliance has criticised rural affairs minister Alun Michael for once again failing to attend a pre-arranged engagement rather than face pro-hunting supporters waiting to meet him.

Mr Michael was due to address a rural social enterprise conference in West Yorkshire on Wednesday (Nov 24) but instead cancelled.
 
“This is about what we would have expected from Alun Michael, who has failed to show any consistency or integrity on the issue of hunting,” said Simon Hart, chief executive of the CA.
 
“It is a sorry state of affairs when a DEFRA minister avoids the countryside because he cannot face up to his responsibilities.

“There can never have been a rural affairs minister who is more out of touch with rural Britain.”

A spokesman form DEFRA defended the minister‘s actions saying he had given several weeks notice that he would be unable to attend in person and instead delivered his message by video.

“It is always the minister‘s intention to honour his commitments unless advice suggests otherwise, however, on this occasion another diary commitment meant he was unable to attend,” said the spokesman.