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UK government reverses decision and allows minister Meacher to Earth Summit
1 September 2002
In a story that bears more than a passing resemblance to Cinderella, green pressure groups have shamed the UK government into reversing its controversial decision to exclude environment minister Michael Meacher from the UK delegation to the Earth Summit in Johannesburg this month. Meacher is widely acknowledged to have a good grasp of environment issues, but he was cut from the delegation list last month in a clumsy attempt by the prime minister's press secretary to keep the delegation to a minimum to avoid accusations that ministers and civil servants were freeloading. Meacher was outraged, openly criticising the decision in the UK press, and green groups rallied to his rescue, offering to pay his air fare and accommodation. The UK's newspapers went to town on the story. Shamed, the government reversed its decision and reinstated Meacher almost immediately.
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