Arson at ex-farm ministers office

15 February 2001

Arson at ex-farm minister’s office

By FWi staff

POLICE are investigating a suspicious fire at the Commons office of former junior agriculture minister Jeff Rooker, reports The Daily Telegraph.

Flames, reported to be 3ft high, destroyed constituency papers in Mr Rookers wood-panelled room beneath the Commons Chamber.

The blaze was discovered by fellow ministers George Foulkes and John Battle, who put it out using bins filled with water.

The newspaper notes that Mr Rooker, MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, angered animal rights activists by voting against a ban on hunting with dogs.

Mr Rooker was moved from the Ministry of Agriculture to become a Social Security minister in a 1999 Government reshuffle.

Last year, Mr Rooker has surprised Westminster by announcing he is quitting Parliament at the next general election.

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