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Labour: Government 'incompetent' over ash tree crisis

Labour has criticised the Government for responding slowly to the ash tree crisis, after it emerged in a written answer ministers had been told about the presence of ash dieback in the UK in April.

Ministers were told about the presence of ash dieback in the country on April 3 yet waited till October 29 to ban ash imports.

This seven-month delay is a tragic example of the appalling incompetence and inertia which is a hallmark of this Government.

Scientists tell us the disease loves wet conditions and spreads from June to October but Ministers failed to get a ban in place over the summer months.

We have had the wettest summer on record and I fear, have lost a year in our fight against this terrible disease.

– Shadow environment secretary Mary Creagh