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Caroline Spelman

Spelman's forest U-turn: 'We got this one wrong'

Caroline Spelman issued an extraordinary apology yesterday as she scrapped plans to sell off England's forests, telling MPs: "I'm sorry, we got this one wrong." The Environment Secretary's act of public contrition helped to calm the political storm the Government provoked with its controversial scheme to offload 637,000 acres of woodlands from public ownership. Tory MPs, who had joined a national protest campaign that united countryside groups and all shades of political opinion, rallied around the embattled minister as she confirmed the policy U-turn.

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Design: why buy British?

Globalisation has put pressure on all types of business to outsource production, move jobs abroad and, in doing so, cut costs. As a result British producers have been in decline for a number of decades. In recent years, however, increased awareness of climate change, a growing world population, political instability and the financial crisis – not to mention the ethical issues often associated with working conditions abroad – have forced consumers to think more carefully about where their produce comes from.