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UK Politics

Meacher 'will go to environment summit'

Michael Meacher, the Environment Minister, has been restored to the British delegation to the Earth Summit in Johannesburg, according to reports last night.

Despite proposals that he be cut from the trip to avoid bad press about ministerial "junketing", Mr Meacher has won his battle to be reinstated as a member of the team attending the conference due to start later this month.

John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, is expected to confirm today that he, Mr Meacher, Tony Blair, Clare Short and Margaret Beckett will travel to the summit on sustainable development and the environment. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs stuck to its line that the ministers and officials had not been finalised and it was not aware of any announcement by Mr Prescott today.

But it appeared that Mr Meacher's anger at being left off the list, together with the backlash from green groups, has forced a rethink