Foot and Mouth

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 28th January 2004.

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Photo of Owen Paterson Owen Paterson Conservative, North Shropshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations have been made to her Department concerning the intimidation of contractors and their representatives by officials of her Department in pursuit of reducing or discounting the value of invoices or claims made by them in respect of services provided to her Department in relation to the 2001 foot and mouth epidemic.

Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare)

The Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Small Business Group has drawn the Department's attention to one case where a contractor has alleged intimidating and inappropriate communications from Defra.

To date, Defra has not received any evidence in support of the allegation that intimidation of contractors and their representatives has taken place.

Any such representations would be considered on their merits having regard to the motives of those persons making such representations.

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