email received 31 March 2004
Did the PM sanction Mr Brown's attempt to mislead the House of Commons?Dear Mary
On 26 April 2001 Mr Nick Brown M.P., Secretary of State at MAFF made a statement to the House of Commons with regard to the proposed ban on swill feeding, following the outbreak of FMD. Mr Brown said 'We received about 150 responses, nearly all of which favoured a ban'. The Parliamentary Ombudsman has confirmed that she is going to investigate the backround to this statement.
Mr Ben Bradshaw M.P. has just responded to a written Parliamentary question by Mr Boris Johnson M.P. No 162497. Mr Bradshaw stated 'There were 357 responses (not 150), there were 37% against the ban,32% in favour and 31% expressing no preference'.
Mr Bradshaw M.P. has therefore identified that Mr Nick Brown misled the House of Commons.
We have established that the PM wanted a ban on swill feeding and it must be assumed that the misrepresentation of the responses was done in order to justify the ban and therefore allow the Government to have a scapegoat for FMD in the form of the swill feeders.
Did the PM sanction Mr Brown's attempt to mislead the House of Commons?
A title for the story could read 'Bradshaw lands Brown in pigswill'
From Robert Persey
From Hansard http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmhansrd/cm040330/text/40330w04.htm
Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many replies her Department received in response to the consultation document that preceded the ban on swill feeding; and what percentage of respondents favoured a ban. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The final total number of responses, including the late responses, received was 357. Responses were not clear cut as the consultation asked a number of questions but, taking account of all the responses, there were 37 per cent. against the ban, 32 per cent. in favour and 31 per cent. expressing no preference. Those in favour included major organisations representing widespread interests. They included, among others, the British Pig Association, the National Farmers Union, the National Consumer Council, and the Meat and Livestock Commission.
Interesting, to say the least, to read the final part of that statement. The NPA supported the ban on swill feeding subject to-:
Compensation being paid to those swill feeders thrown out of busines. Tight controls on meat from countries with FMD and swine fever infection Waste meat not going to landfill Competitors in the EU also giving up.
The Government did not meet those conditions.