Rabbitte concerned over removal of Civil Defence chairman

The Labour Party has asked for urgent clarification from the Minister for Defence following his removal of the chairman of the Civil Defence Board last Friday.

The Labour Party has asked for urgent clarification from the Minister for Defence following his removal of the chairman of the Civil Defence Board last Friday.

Labour leader Pat Rabbitte has said there are serious doubts about Minister Michael Smith's power to remove a chairman of the Civil Defence Board.

Appointments and removals affecting the board are governed by the Civil Defence Act of 2002.

There is no provision under that act to remove any member of the board.

Deputy Rabbitte has said the move is embroiled in controversy.

"The Minster issued instructions last week on the eve of the Bush visit to remove the chairman of the civil defence board, form office. There is an entire controversy tied up with this in the general de-centralisation programme," he said.

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