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The BBC's Stephen Evans
"What is certain is that discontent has not vanished"
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Wednesday, 18 October, 2000, 13:42 GMT 14:42 UK
Fuel protester wants Blair meeting
Fuel protesters
Fuel protests that brought UK to a halt
One of the key figures behind the fuel protests that brought the UK to a near-halt in September is seeking talks with Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

Welsh farmer Brynle Williams wants to press the prime minister and chancellor to make concessions on fuel taxes ahead of the 60-day deadline set by protesters.


I am appealing for everyone to stick to the 60-day deadline and not to allow themselves to be goaded into provocative statements or industrial actions

Brynle Williams
Mr Williams, from Mold in Flintshire, hopes they can meet ahead of Mr Brown's pre-budget report, which could be at the end of October.

Provocative statements by fellow-protesters such as the people's fuel lobby and farmers for action, had prompted Mr Williams' request, he said.

"In the interests of trying to keep an even keel on this, I am appealing for everyone to stick to the 60-day deadline and not to allow themselves to be goaded into provocative statements or industrial actions," he said.

The Treasury indicated that Mr Brown might consider such a meeting.

A spokesman said that the chancellor had met many people to discuss the fuel tax issue.

Pressure over fuel tax

Fuel protesters set the 60-day deadline - due to run out on 13 November - in a bid to pressure the government into reducing fuel taxation to avoid further blockades of fuel depots.

Mr Williams' attempt to hold a meeting comes ahead of a meeting on Thursday between transport ministers Lord Macdonald and Lord Whitty, Treasury minister Stephen Timms, union representatives and the freight transport association (FTA).

That meeting - under the auspices of the road haulage forum - had been planned prior to the fuel protests but has increased in significance because of them.

The ministers are expected to hear about the concerns of the FTA, the Road Haulage Association, the transport workers' union, and representatives of independent hauliers in relation to the cost of fuel.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "The government is listening to a variety of different groups on this issue."

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See also:

13 Oct 00 | UK Politics
Brown 'offers fuel concessions'
02 Oct 00 | Business
Factory output hit by fuel crisis
05 Oct 00 | Conservatives
Blair ridiculed over fuel crisis
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