Published: 04/03/2004, Volume II4, No. 5895 Page 9

Welsh sports minister Alun Pugh has been accused of hypocrisy for launching a sports strategy promoting healthy lifestyles, and then accepting hospitality from fast food chain McDonald's.

Last week, the Welsh Assembly heard that last August Mr Pugh enjoyed accommodation in a Cardiff hotel, and food and tickets to a football match at the Millennium Stadium, a month after launching the Welsh strategy on active recreation. Conservative health spokesman Jonathan Morgan asked the Assembly: 'How many junk meals have to be bought by valley youngsters to pay for the sport minister's junket?'

'The minister's behaviour is nothing short of blatant hypocrisy. He attacks the fastfood industry for contributing to poor diets among children, yet he is more than happy to accept their considerable hospitality. If he is truly committed to tackling obesity, he should have refused on principle.'

Mr Pugh responded by pointing out that McDonald's sponsors the Inter-Parliamentary Cup and he had played in a cup game - between an Assembly and a Westminster team - during the day of the hospitality.