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Wimbledon row about safety in rain

Wimbledon has served up a furious row after it hit back at the chairman of the Health and Safety Executive who accused the tournament of nannyism.

Judith Hackitt of the HSE issued an open letter criticising Wimbledon's decision to switch off its giant screen on Murray Mount in case fans slipped and injured themselves on the sodden slope.

She mocked the officials, writing that "people have been walking up and down wet grassy slopes for years without catastrophic consequences".

She added that the statutory body could not let Monday night's decision "pass unchallenged".

South west London was again drenched on Wednesday and play was cancelled for several hours.

But Murray Mount remained open and the screen - showing Centre Court proceedings - was left on in an apparent climbdown.

But Ian Ritchie, chief executive of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, insisted the plug could be pulled again and replied with his own open letter.

He said he was staggered, amazed and flabbergasted by Mrs Hackitt's letter.

He said: "How does she know? She wasn't here on Monday night.

"We had a full team of police and safety officers looking at the situation. If somebody feels unhappy about it, they could pick up the phone."

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