In a stunning defeat for Prime Minister Tony Blair's national energy review, Britain's High Court ruled the process a "sham" consultation exercise. The environmental group Greenpeace had "accused the Government of acting illegally by failing to consult properly on its nuclear power plans before giving them the go-ahead." The court found the 12-week process to be "seriously flawed," "misleading," and "procedurally unfair," not to mention "wholly insufficient for [the public] to make an intelligent response." The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Alistair Darling, admitted that the government "will have to start a new round of consultations on nuclear power." Darling added that the government "still intended to reach a decision by the end of the year," and pointed to an editorial by Patrick Moore, a former Greenpeace member now a public relations executive and paid consultant for the nuclear industry. Blair was originally intending to declare nuclear power "a vital ingredient in Britain's energy programme," in a White Paper to be released next month. The NuclearSpin website warns that in the wake of Balir's legal setback, citizens can "expect the pro-nuclear lobby to gear up for a major PR offensive in the coming months."
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