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Last Updated:  Friday, 28 February, 2003, 20:10 GMT
Straw fails to face demonstrators
Protesters in Blackburn
A security scare was blamed for Mr Straw's cancellation
Protesters in Foreign Secretary Jack Straw's Blackburn constituency were left disappointed after he failed to turn up for a planned meeting.

About 200 anti-war demonstrators waited outside a Blackburn community centre where Mr Straw was due to hold an advice surgery on Friday.

Organisers hoped to try and challenge him about preparations for a war against Saddam Hussein, which are in their "final phase".

But Mr Straw failed to turn up to the centre after a bomb scare.

The group had been moved away from the building following the security alert, which was later blamed for Mr Straw's absence.

Parvaiz Awan, who organised the demonstration, said: "These are the people of Blackburn who Mr Straw should be addressing, not the people of Washington. We are terribly disappointed."

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