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The Independent Online
Dobson defends special adviser

FRANK DOBSON, Secretary of State for Health, defended the role of his special adviser in the production of a document for Labour MPs.

A briefing document for backbenchers was written, produced, photocopied and distributed by his departmental special adviser, prior to the Government's debate on the NHS on 16 June.

In reply to a question from Philip Hammond (Con, Runnymede and Weybridge) he said: "Every aspect of this activity is entirely consistent with the long-established role of special advisers." Harvest time

THE HOLDER of the only Home Office licence to grow cannabis is expected to harvest the weed in about 18 months, according to George Howarth, Parliamentary under-Secretary of State at the Home Office. The cannabis is for clinical trials.