DEFRA secretary of state Hilary Benn has refused to make a statement on the government’s response to the leaked announcement that a badger cull will not now take place.

Questioned by FW this morning at the Royal Show, Mr Benn stated: “Bovine TB is a terrible problem, particularly for the farms affected.

“We need an effective way of controlling it and that is why we have had a ten-year study.

“I will be making a statement in the House of Commons next week and will announce our plan for bovine TB then.”