Senior scientists at the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) in north London have hit out at the Medical Research Council's plans to close the centre and relocate it to Cambridge.

A letter signed by the heads of all 18 scientific departments at the NIMR in Mill Hill, demanding the withdrawal of the proposals, has been sent to MRC chief executive Sir George Radda.

Angry staff are also promising to lobby Parliament and sympathetic MPs if the MRC does not abandon the plans. They are outraged at the idea of shutting down the institute and call into question the argument, put forward by the MRC sub-committee that drew up the plans, that relocating it to the Addenbrooke's site in Cambridge will lead to better scientific interactions.

Leading scientists who stand to be directly affected by the proposal privately allege it is being rushed through in time for the end...

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