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 Cretney Offers to go for a Pint with Critic

Tourisim and Leisure Minister David Cretney is inviting a motorcycle journalist who criticised the government over the handling of the TT saga to have a pint with him! Mr Cretney has written a letter to Motor Cycle News following an article by Kevin Ash in the newspaper two weeks ago which claimed the decision to scrap the races should have been made months ago and accused the government of 'inexcusable dithering'.

He ended the piece, which centred around the plan to hold the festival without the races, with the words: 'This is fingers crossed politics, and if it wasn't for the misery, pain and suffering this disease causes you'd have to hope foot-and-mouth got to the Isle of Man anyway.' But Mr Cretney has responded to the claims and his reply has won him the star letter of the week in this week's edition of MCN available tomorrow (Wednesday).

Mr Cretney will receive £50 for the letter which he will donate to the Manx Grand Prix helicopter fund. Mr Cretney says: 'Kevin said the decision should have been made to cancel (and presumably ban motorcyclists) months ago, why? 'The situation seems to be under control at last in the UK. Major sporting and other events are taking place in the UK which has foot-and-mouth disease, and has had for months.

'We made our decision in the timescale needed to meet the vet's advice of four weeks with no cases in the UK, and although now usually in single figures this did not happen. Since January about 150,000 people will have travelled to and from the Isle of Man. 'We like motorcyclists and we welcome them with open arms. Come and join the party Kevin, let's have a pint together!'

In the letter Mr Cretney also reveals that areas of the countryside in direct contact with livestock will be out of bounds, enforced by law, but people will be able to ride their bikes on the roads in the Island during the TT fortnight, including those in rural areas. He also highlights the activities which will be going ahead.

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