"We are not aware of any evidence that removing tobacco displays will affect the number of retail outlets."I pointed out that it was almost impossible for her to avoid the evidence which had already been provided.
On Wednesday, our esteemed blog mascot followed up (has he been peeking here?) with a more precise question to ascertain exactly what she has seen.
Philip Davies (Shipley, Conservative)Oh, I don't think you're so daft as to be unable to work out exactly what the majority of those responses believe, Anne. They are from worried shop owners, after all.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many representations in opposition to the proposed prohibition on tobacco displays his Department has received since 28 July 2010.
Anne Milton (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Public Health), Health; Guildford, Conservative)
Many representations have been made by interested parties on both sides of this argument by letter and e-mail, in meetings and by other methods, ever since the Department began consultations in May 2008. These have continued and the Department has received over 6,000 items of official correspondence mentioning tobacco displays since 28 July 2010. The majority of these come from a postcard campaign by the Association of Convenience Stores launched on 9 August 2010 opposing the new legislation.
It is not possible to provide a definitive total of all representations, however made, or an accurate breakdown of whether they oppose or support the prohibition of tobacco displays.
They believe they are screwed if you don't halt the ban. This is on top of the evidence you kicked under the shredder (or into it perhaps), remember?
You have evidence, you have a majority of the consultation responses in opposition, you have proof of Labour's misdirection of parliament.
What are you waiting for? Ditch it.