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MEALE CLEARED OF CRONYISM

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John Prescott, the environment secretary, has cleared Alan Meale, the junior environment secretary, of lobbying his...
John Prescott, the environment secretary, has cleared Alan Meale, the junior environment secretary, of lobbying his own department over a£14m sports complex for a property developer, reports The Guardian (p7).

When the issue became public last month, the Liberal Democrat chief whip Paul Tyler attacked Mr Meale's 'extraordinary and outrageous' conduct and asked Gordon Downey, the parliamentary commissioner for standards, to investigate.

Sir Gordon ruled last night that Mr Meale broke no rules as an MP, but said that he could not investigate any breach of the ministerial code of conduct as it was outside his remit. However, Mr Prescott announced he was clearing his own minister of any breaches of that code.
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