13 September 2001
Duncan Smith to keep Yeo?

By FWi staff

FARMERS are waiting to see if Iain Duncan Smith will leave Tim Yeo MP as opposition farm spokesman following his election as Tory Party leader.

Former shadow defence minister Iain Duncan Smith learned on Thursday (13 September) that he had beaten off a challenge from Kenneth Clarke to become leader of the opposition.

The announcement, which came a day later than originally planned as a mark of respect for the people who died in this weeks US terrorist attacks, was a low-key affair.

The new leader make only a brief statement but in due course is expected to announce who he wants to have sitting in his shadow cabinet.

Speaking exclusively to FARMERS WEEKLY last week, the two candidates for the job clashed over the issue of the Euro and its implications for UK farmers.

Iain Duncan Smith said it was a popular misconception that joining the Euro would cause farm prices to improve because Sterling will be devalued.

“The terms of the Amsterdam Treaty state that Sterling will not be significantly devalued from current levels should we join,” he said.

Kenneth Clarke said one of the key reasons for the crisis in farming was the high level of Sterling relative to the Euro.

“Membership of the Euro, provided it were at an acceptable exchange rate, would bring stability and allow farmers to rebuild their markets,” he said.