Ainsworth: Rural Britain's legal action is understandable

Conservative news press release

Commenting on the launch of a £7 billion compensation claim on behalf of rural businesses that suffered massive losses as a result of the foot and mouth crisis, the Shadow DEFRA Secretary, Peter Ainsworth MP, said:

"This action is hardly surprising, given that the Government has consistently ignored the problems facing rural Britain in the wake of foot and mouth.

"The impact of foot and mouth has left lasting scars in rural communities. Thousands of livelihoods were threatened and billions of pounds were knocked off the economy, as the Government dithered and bungled its way through the crisis. Businesses in rural communities were brought to their knees, as Ministers allowed the idea to circulate that the countryside was closed.

"In the absence of a full public inquiry, which the Government continues to dodge, this legal action might offer rural Britain its only chance to ask questions of the Ministers that presided over this disaster."

ENDS For further information contact Mark Leech on 020 7984 8067