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NIMR inquiry criticizes MRC

Politicians attack handling of relocation plans but clear Colin Blakemore of coercion

Pat Hagan(pat.hagan@btconnect.com)

Britain's Medical Research Council (MRC) has been criticized for its handling of the planned relocation of one of its leading institutions.

A report by a committee of politicians has concluded the MRC "lost the confidence" of staff at the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) and "failed to carry its troops with it" during the process of reviewing the institute's future.

But it cleared MRC Chief Executive Colin Blakemore of accusations that he had bullied NIMR staff into agreeing with the relocation plans, ruling instead that he had been "heavy handed" in his lobbying of key figures involved in the review.

The report, by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, also attacked unnamed NIMR staff for interfering with the process and almost undermining Blakemore's position as MRC chief executive. Politicians on the committee called for the two sides to put the dispute behind them and pull together on...

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