UK: Unceremonious retreat on the great forest sale


In the face of fierce public and political opposition Caroline Spelman, the UK's Environment Secretary, today announced a massive U Turn in the consultation into the mass sale of the UK's huge forestry estate.

“I would first like to say that I take full responsibility for the situation that brings me before the House today," said Mrs Spelman under strict instruction from Prime Minister David Cameron, who has been visibly distancing himself from the plans for several days.

“First, I have taken a decision to end the consultation on the future of the Public Forest Estate and I take full responsibility for that. I am doing so because it is quite clear from the early responses to the consultation that the public and many MPs are not happy with the proposals we set out," she continued.

This, of course, may be a massive political understatement. Over half a million people took the time to sign a petition on the 38 Degrees website, which makes it one of the largest of its kind in the country, while various polls show that over 80 per cent of the country opposed the sale.

The rejected plans, which united many disparate groups of politicians, celebrities, and powerful organisations such as The National Trust against the government, are by far the biggest backtrack of this governmental term so far.

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