CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

'LOOKING BACK ON THE COUNTRYSIDE MARCH'

Daily Telegraph – 3 March 1998

You describe the [Countryside] March as the largest since "the anti-nuclear rallies of the early Eighties" (report, March 2). If it achieved a turnout of 284,500, however, it was much larger than those.

The biggest CND demonstration was on October 22, 1983. On the day, it claimed the turnout was 250,000 – upgraded soon after to 400,000. Only when the result of an aerial survey became known was massive exaggeration finally proved. The real total was only 98,900. The Countryside March was rather more representative of public opinion than its unilateralist counterparts.

Dr JULIAN LEWIS MP
House of Commons
London SW1