26 October 1999
Meacher ‘listening’ to Alliance
MICHAEL MEACHER, the environment minister, yesterday tried to cool the mood of the pro-hunting lobby with a soothing overture that the government was “in listening mode”.
Meacher chose the first countryside conference of the Countryside Alliance to make the remark.
His attendance alone was seen by many as a testament to the governments intention of healing the rift between it and the rural lobby.
He assured the conference that it was “absolutely not” the governments intention to “ride roughshod over the minorities”.
He was also critical of Labour MPs who refuse to meet pro-hunt supporters at constituency surgeries.
The minister made clear that the government was considering all aspects of countryside policy for inclusion in the rural white paper.
John Jackson, chairman of the Alliance, said the organisation had become “a broad-based political movement” which would campaign on issues including jobs, homes and farming.
- Papers cool on Countryside demo, FWi, 29 September 1999
- Hunting row hides real rural issues, FWi, 30 July 1999
- Hunting ban would destroy 25,000 jobs, FWi, 25 November 1997
- The Times 26/10/99 page 11
- The Independent 26/10/99 page 10
- The Guardian 26/10/99 page 6
- The Daily Telegraph 26/10/99 page 13