Major rebukes anti-Douglas Hogg lobby

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The Independent Online
John Major yesterday delivered a rebuke to ministers and Conservative MPs who have been campaigning privately but vociferously for the Agriculture Minister, Douglas Hogg, to go - by writing him a warm personal letter assuring him of his support. Westminster sources said that Mr Hogg had been told by Alistair Goodlad, the chief whip, that his job was safe. This was backed up by the Prime Minister, who is said to have written to him telling him that he has done an excellent job. Mr Hogg was blamed by Tory MPs, especially right-wingers, for failing to adopt a more aggressive stance in negotiations with the European Union in the early stages of the beef dispute.

John Rentoul