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Ex-culture secretary Chris Smith signs up to save the country house

Political heavyweight Chris Smith MP has given a further boost to the AJ's country house campaign by joining the band of parliamentarians fighting the proposed changes.

The former culture secretary and founder of CABE has signed the AJ's Early Day Motion, which calls on John Prescott to change his mind and retain the PPG 7 country house clause.

Long-standing parliamentary troublemaker Tam Dalyell, the Father of the House of Commons, has also joined the group of over 20 MPs supporting the EDM.

RIBA public affairs coordinator Steven Harding said he was delighted that Smith had agreed to sign up to the AJ's EDM.

'He is a greatly experienced MP who is hugely respected in the House on built-environment issues, ' Harding said. 'I believe his support can only give the campaign further impetus and attract more names to the EDM.'

Smith as secretary of state for culture, media and sport between 1997 and 2001, launched CABE and pioneered free entry to museums and galleries.

He joins a growing list of MPs across the house that includes Alan Howarth (AJ 13.11.03), former DCMS minister Kate Hoey, former Lib Dem deputy leader Alan Beith, All-Party Built Environment Group chair Peter Luff and veteran right-winger Teddy Taylor.

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