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Papers team up to demand action

A petition demonstrating anger over the Government’s failure to hold a public inquiry into foot and mouth has been delivered to Tony Blair.

The huge petition, signed by 146,500 people, was handed over at Downing Street.

It calls on the Prime Minister to hold a national public inquiry into what it calls the foot and mouth ‘disaster’.

Accompanying the petition was a letter from the editors of the four regional newspapers involved in the joint inquiry campaign – the Western Morning News, Newcastle Journal, Western Mail and Gloucester Citizen.

They said: “We believe that only a public inquiry, with power to compel witnesses to give evidence, will reveal the truth about this devastating disease.

“Given the scale of support our campaign has attracted, we hope you will reconsider the decision not to hold a public inquiry into this important matter.”

  • The papers launched their joint campaign after Margaret Beckett, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said an “all singing, all dancing” inquiry would cost too much and take too long.

    Her decision to stage a three-pronged investigation into the epidemic rather than a full inquiry infuriated farming and tourism leaders.

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