17 April 1998
No 10 denies rural white-paper rumours
DOWNING Street has denied rumours that environment minister Michael Meacher has been asked to prepare a White Paper on rural issues.
Mr Meacher was reportedly asked by Prime Minister Tony Blair to prepare the document after the Countryside March. it was to include topics ranging from health care and education to low farm incomes and rural poverty, reports in The Times and the Daily Telegraph maintained.
But officials at the Prime Ministers office and the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions were quick to point out that suggestions of a White Paper by the end of the year were pure speculation.
For this and other stories, see Farmers Weekly, 17-23 April, 1998