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EDITIONS
Sunday, 19 May, 2002, 12:16 GMT 13:16 UK
Sunday 12 May 2002
Stephen Byers MP, transport secretary
Stephen Byers MP, transport secretary

Sunday 12th May 2002

Sir David Frost was joined this morning by the Transport Secretary Stephen Byers, the Chief Executive of Railtrack John Armitt, Israel's Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, the US peace envoy Senator George Mitchell, the Europe Minister Peter Hain and the Arsenal and England goal keeper David Seaman. The newspaper reviewers were: the Editor of the Mirror, Piers Morgan, the Conservative Party Vice Chairman, Steve Norris and the columnist for the Observer, Mary Riddell.

Sir David spoke to Stephen Byers about Friday's train crash in Potters Bar. Mr Byers did not rule out a public inquiry into the derailment. The Railtrack Chief Executive John Armitt said he couldn't rule out the possibility that either Railtrack, or the government, could be sued for corporate manslaughter.

Stephen Byers was also questioned about the "resignation" of the civil servant Martin Sixsmith, and he insisted that he did not mislead Parliament. In addition he was asked about a Labour party donation from the newspaper proprietor Richard Desmond, who now owns the Express Newspaper group. Stephen Byers insisted that in his previous job as Trade and Industry Secretary he had handled the Express Newspapers takeover by the book.

On the Middle East the Israeli Foreign Minister was asked about news that plans for a military offensive in the Gaza Strip had been cancelled and questioned on whether Israel would ever allow a UN investigation into the offensive in Jenin.

Peter Hain spoke about Gibraltar, and said that the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign Office was united over its policy towards Gibraltar. He also spoke about his concerns over isolationism amongst some members of the Muslim community in Britain, he said there "is a tendancy amongst a minority to isolate themselves and that leaves them vulnerable to...exploitation".

Stephen Byers MP, transport secretary

John Armitt, chief executive of Railtrack

George Mitchell, peace negotiator and Shimon Peres, Israeli foreign minister

Peter Hain MP, Europe minister

David Seaman, Arsenal and England goalkeeper


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