The Rt. Hon. Sir Robert Atkins MEP (North West) has been successful in persuading European MPs to visit Cumbria to take evidence from those affected by the recent Foot and Mouth Disease epidemic. The newly constituted Special Parliamentary Committee on Foot & Mouth throughout the EU will be in the UK from 18th-20th April and have agreed to Sir Robert's request that it should spend some time in Cumbria.

"I am delighted that this important Committee will meet and listen to those who have suffered most from this dreadful disease and will be liasing closely with County Council Leader, Rex Toft, to ensure that the County's Inquiry and the various witnesses are tied into the European Parliament investigation" commented Sir Robert.

"It is only because Conservatives in Cumbria and the European Parliament overcame concerted opposition from Labour MEPs that this Inquiry is happening at all. Blair does not want the spotlight of a public inquiry into his Government's handling of the epidemic but now he is going to get one!"

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