News & Comment

Health minister under fire over ASH links

Thu 23rd June, 2011

The National Federation of Retail Newsagents is demanding a formal investigation into the conduct of the public health minister in charge of the tobacco display ban.

NFRN president Kieran McDonnell has written to the prime minister with evidence he says calls into question the actions of Anne Milton and the relationship between government-funded charity ASH and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health.

He writes that Ms Milton’s “inappropriate conduct necessitates a review of the legitimacy of the [display ban] legislation itself.”

The letter backs up questions from Torbay Liberal democrat MP Adrian Sanders to Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley, asking for his comments on Ms Milton’s acceptance of an award at an APPG Smoking and Health event and presenting one to the director of ASH.

Mr Sanders also seeks Mr Lansley’s response to the chairman’s comment at the event that ASH “do a great job in supporting MPs with lobbying their colleagues in Parliament”.

ASH receives Whitehall cash on the proviso that it does not directly lobby the government.

Source: Retail Newsagent (23 May 2011)

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