Australian health minister Tanya Plibersek adds fuel to Lynton Crosby row over cigarette packaging
Oliver Duggan has a BA in Politics and Parliamentary Studies from the University of Leeds and an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City University London. He works as a freelance reporter and editorial assistant for The Independent and i with a focus on Home Affairs and politics.
Monday 15 July 2013
Australia’s Health Minister has accused the UK Government of dropping plans to introduce blank cigarette packaging due to pressure from tobacco companies and one of their former lobbyists now working for the Conservatives.
Tanya Plibersek picked out Lynton Crosby – an Australian election adviser who has links to Philip Morris, one of the Big Four tobacco firms – as one of the main factors in the UK’s decision not to emulate her country in restricting cigarette packaging to single-coloured boxes emblazoned with graphic images of smoking-related diseases. “I think this does show the continued effort of big tobacco to prevent plain packaging,” Ms Plibersek said. “It’s very clear Lynton Crosby has been a key adviser in this move to dump plain packaging in the UK.”
Her intervention echoes those of the former UK Health minister Paul Burstow – who has said the Prime Minister should sack Mr Crosby – and Steven Williams, the Liberal Democrat chair of the all-party group on smoking and health, who said the link presented a “massive conflict of interest”.
Mr Crosby’s lobbying firm, Crosby Textor, has been employed by Philip Morris since November to offer “advice on a range of matters”. The company also represents Australian groups who campaign aggressively for fracking, prompting further criticism from environmental activists.
Labour has claimed that after being appointed last year the adviser chaired a meeting at which tobacco industry executives discussed how to block plans to force cigarettes to be sold in plain packets.
The Tory chairman Grant Shapps has dismissed the allegations of misconduct. “Lynton Crosby advises the Conservative Party on political strategy; he doesn’t advise on policy,” he said. “This is looking like a smear campaign.”
A No 10 spokesman has also said that Mr Crosby had no involvement in the decision, adding that Mr Cameron had never been lobbied by the Australian on cigarette packaging.
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
Ball pool for adults opens in London
Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...