Media January 2012

Wales Office in Tobacco Row

Cheryl Gillan, the secretary of state for Wales, defended her decision to attend a posh horticultural event as the guest of Japan Tobacco International (JTI), the Daily Post reported on 14 December.

She had been criticised for going to the Chelsea Flower Show in May on a ticket provided by JTI. Shadow Wales Office Minister Nia Griffith said accepting the hospitality was wrong, given that the Welsh government was trying to reduce the harm caused by tobacco.

The Wales Office said: “[Gillan] attended this event as a number of Welsh gardens were being featured. Whilst she accepted two tickets, one for herself and another for an official, she did not attend the full hospitality offered by [JTI] and, rather, took the opportunity to visit and pay tribute to the Welsh horticultural expertise on show”.

*Top image: Photos: Wales Office