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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 11:10 am    Post subject: news  Reply with quote   

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote   

Rio signs up for war on guns

February 22, 2007

SOCCER hero Rio Ferdinand will be signed up by Tony Blair today — to head the war on gun culture.

The England defender will be asked to reach out to kids at risk.

His message to youngsters who use weapons as a fashion accessory will be: “They are not cool — they kill.”

The PM will meet Rio during a tour of cities in the grip of gang violence.

He appealed for the Man Utd star’s help after seeing the role he played in The Sun’s anti-knives campaign.

No 10 last night refused to discuss Mr Blair’s plans, but a source said of Rio’s role: “He could play a vital part in helping to tackle the root causes of the gun culture. Many kids are led astray because they have no male role model. Rio is just the person to do his bit.”

Mr Blair will today host a Downing Street summit on how to tackle the gun craze.

He will be joined by Home Secretary John Reid, other key ministers, victims, police and parents. It comes after Billy Cox, 15. and two other teenage boys were killed in shootings over 11 days in London.

Mr Blair will then stage a whirlwind tour of the country, linking up with Rio, 28, in the North West.

A pal of the star said: “Rio knows how easy it is for kids to go off the rails.”

Yesterday a leaked Scotland Yard report revealed 2,000 youngsters are linked with 169 violent gangs in London alone.

Mr Blair has vowed to introduce five-year sentences for illegal gun possession by anyone aged 17 or over.

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