Minister called out over 15-minute city claim


Health minister Maria Caulfield has been told to refer herself to the ministerial ethics adviser after election leaflets accused her local council of restricting the freedom to drive.

The leaflets, sent out last year during elections for Lewes District Council, claimed the council was planning to restrict people’s freedom to drive as part of the establishment of a ‘15-minute city’.

Maria Caulfield

Council leader Zoe Nicholson said the council’s draft local plan contained proposals to make amenities more easily accessible as part of a ‘10- or 20-minute neighbourhood’ scheme, but there was no plan to charge anyone for driving outside of that area.

Daisy Cooper, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, told the Guardian: ‘Maria Caulfield should apologise to local people and report her leaflet to the ministerial ethics adviser. That would be the honest and decent thing to do.’

The health minister has been contacted for comment.

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