29 October 1998
Former minister bullied MAFF’s critics, BSE Inquiry told
By FWi staff
A FORMER junior agriculture minister bullied and ridiculed people who questioned Government assurances that there was no risk from eating beef during the BSE crisis, the official inquiry into the disease will be told today (Thursday).
Nicholas Soames, who was a Conservative junior minister during from 1992 to 1994, regarded anyone who criticised the Ministry of Agriculture as unpatriotic, according to evidence submitted to the BSE Inquiry.
Suzi Leather, a former member of the ministrys consumer panel, said Mr Soames had verbally attacked her when she had asked for more research into a means of diagnosing BSE.
“I found his manner bullying and his mind closed,” Ms Leather said in a written statement.
Ms Leather said Mr Soames appeared to consider those who believed the Ministry of Agriculture line as good people who had Britains interests at heart.
But he regarded those who did not trust the ministry as bad people who were politically motivated, she added.