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Smith calls off meetings after injury to ankle

JOHN SMITH, the Labour leader, has severely damaged ligaments in his right ankle and cancelled his engagements for this week, his office said yesterday.

He injured himself while climbing in the Scottish Highlands last Wednesday.

Mr Smith, 55, was due to visit a farm at Beccles, Suffolk, today, followed by a news conference in Lowestoft and meetings in Great Yarmouth and Ipswich. He will be unable to attend the House of Commons this week.

In 1988, Mr Smith suffered a heart attack from which he appears to have made a complete recovery. Since his illness, he has taken to climbing - particularly the mountains higher than 3,000ft, the Munros.

He slipped in the snow while climbing his 108th Munro, Eididh nan Clach Geala, in Wester Ross.

A spokeswoman said: 'After he did it he continued to walk three or four miles further on. And on Friday, not realising the damage that had been done, he carried out a number of engagements in his constituency.'