Boris Johnsons girlfriend facing court probe over influence in PMs decision to scrap badger cull


BORIS Johnsons girlfriend is set to be the centre of a court probe over her influence in the PMs decision to stop a badger cull.

Animal rights activist Carrie Symonds is said to have played a role in the government scrapping a cull in Derbyshire.

Carrie Symonds is set to be the centre of a court probe

The Farmers Union have called for judicial review over the decision which the high court granted last week.

The decision last autumn just three weeks after Symonds was briefed by Dominic Dyer, head of the Badger Trust, which opposed the cull.

Ms Symonds and environment minister Zac Goldsmith have been a staunch critic of the cull that is operating in 10 counties.

The environment secretary, Theresa Villiers, ordered Natural England to scrap a cull in Derbyshire but the farmers union, the NFU, believes believe this was against scientific advice and have asked for the Judicial review to determine how the decision was made.

Their lawyers will now be able to look into that process.

Last month the NFU vice-president, Stuart Roberts, said: We think that what the secretary of state did is unlawful, and that is why were launching this legal challenge.”

Ms Villiers earlier said that she was not given a specific direction by the prime ministers office, but admitted a conversation had taken place about whether a cull was suitable.

Mr Dyer defended his meeting with the PMs girlfriend and said: I relayed my concerns to the prime minister in an open letter on the need to stop the badger cull in Derbyshire and other counties and I am pleased to see that Carrie made sure this reached him in Downing Street.

It is completely legitimate for the Badger Trust or any other organisation opposing the badger cull policy to seek to engage with the prime minister in this way, particularly on such a hugely controversial, costly and cruel policy.

A Defra spokeswoman said: We have been notified about this legal challenge and we cannot comment on ongoing judicial proceedings.

Bovine TB remains one of the greatest animal health threats to the UK, and the decision to pause the cull programme in Derbyshire will let us look at how the cull and existing vaccination projects in that area have worked together.


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