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Did Blair silence David King under US pressure? - Baker

March 8, 2004 1:09 PM

Norman Baker MPReports in The Independent today claim that a leaked memo proves Downing Street attempted to silence the chief scientific adviser, Sir David King, after he warned global warming was more serious a threat than terrorism.

Commenting, Norman Baker MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Environment Secretary, said:

"If these reports are true, this is a disgraceful attempt by the Prime Minister's office to muzzle the country's leading scientist.

"Blair must now make a clear statement explaining why this unacceptable and ill-judged memo was sent by his principal private secretary. Did Blair censor Sir David King to prevent the Americans becoming upset, or was it a direct result of American pressure?

"Sir David has a duty, on behalf of the nation, to speak up. He must not be pushed around like some trainee civil servant. His advice that climate change is at least as big a threat to us as terrorism is clear, and has been echoed by Hans Blix only yesterday.

"The Prime Minister is letting the country down. He needs to show the same urgency in tackling climate change as he has done in tackling terrorism. Sadly, it seems he's keener to cave into the Americans."