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Government loses bid to delay air pollution strategy

Words: Huw Morris

The government has lost its High Court bid to delay publication of its air pollution strategy.

The government had a deadline of 24 April to set out draft proposals for tackling nitrogen dioxide pollution and late last week applied to delay their publication until after the general election.

It claimed the publication breached purdah rules, banning government announcements with controversial implications during the run-up to elections.

But the court rejected its pleas and ordered publication by 9 May.

Mr Justice Garnham said the publication was “necessary to safeguard public health” and that the government’s failure to comply with EU legislation was “a significant threat to public health”.

He also ruled that the government must keep to the original deadline of 31 July for publishing its final policy on tackling air quality, which was first specified last November. He also rejected a government application to appeal.


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