Cigarette firm Philip Morris 'tracked MPs' views on packaging'
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Sunday 28 July 2013
The world’s largest tobacco firm created a database tracking every British MP’s opinion on plain cigarette packaging as part of its successful lobbying campaign to block the rules, it was claimed on Sunday.
Philip Morris International, whose brands include Marlboro, laid out detailed proposals of how it would seek to stave off standardised packaging, including a spreadsheet indicating the believed position of every politician in the House of Commons, according to company documents marked “for internal discussion and illustration purposes only” which were obtained by The Observer.
The Government announced earlier this month that it was postponing plans to go ahead with plain packaging, a measure long called for by health campaigners who say it will deter young people from taking up smoking, until ministers have examined the impact of a similar scheme in Australia.
Lynton Crosby, the Conservative Party’s election strategist whose company CTF Partners was employed by Philip Morris since November 2012 to advise on its campaign, has denied having “any conversation” on standardised packaging with David Cameron.
The tobacco firm’s documents, which date from 2011, suggested it had the potential to help muster 18,000 responses to a Department of Health consultation on plain packaging. It also named organisations and firms it believed supported its position, including some supermarkets. Philip Morris did not respond to a request to comment.
- 1 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway in dense fog
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway in dense fog
George Clooney and Amal fail to get special treatment at New York restaurant
Cindy Crawford 'un-PhotoShopped' viral Marie Claire image was doctored, photographer claims
'A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy': The statement that shocked the world... except India
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of refrig...
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a customer focused, pro...
£27000 - £33000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End Devel...