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Prime Minister backs Blakemore

MRC chief withdraws threat to resign from his post

Robert Walgate(walgate@scienceanalysed.com)

British Prime Minister Tony Blair today (January 13) issued a strong letter in support of animal research, Colin Blakemore, chief executive officer of the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) said. The letter is exactly what Blakemore called for when he threatened to resign from his post at the MRC in December if the government did not reaffirm its commitment to the use of animals in research. Blakemore had been rejected for an honor because he participated in “vivisection.”

However, as reported in the Financial Times yesterday, Blakemore had already withdrawn his threat on the basis of broader government and outside support. “I will now be pressing ahead with the various proposals encouraging MRC scientists to engage more in public dialogue,” he told The Scientist.

“I withdrew my resignation on the basis of what I'd heard particularly from Lord Sainsbury and [Chief Scientific Advisor] David King, but also on the...

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