20 November 1998

Hundreds join lobby of MPs

FAR from the target of thousands of farmers, only a couple of hundred turned up in London on Wednesday for the parliamentary lobby organised by a group of Welsh farmers calling themselves Farmers in Crisis.

Many had made appointments to see their MPs, while the group from the West Country were met by Lib-Dem parliamentarians Paul Tyler, Richard Livsey and Nick Harvey. Mr Livsey, MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, also met many of the Welsh producers who had journeyed to the capital.

Lincs Tory MP John Hayes told the farmers to continue writing to their MPs and to keep dem-onstrating. A protest involving just 40 or 50 people could make a considerable impact, he suggested.

After the lobby, David Sadler, one of the organisers, led a delegation to the NFU headquarters to make it clear to the union that it was not representing its membership adequately.

He said the NFU had done everything possible to try and stop farmers going to the London lobby. But those who had ignored the pressure wanted to tell the union that all farmers, not just those rewarded in the governments aid package, needed help. The package did nothing more than pay lip service to the problems, Mr Sadler added.

At the NFU headquarters, tea, coffee and plenty of union officials to talk to were provided for the visiting farmers. &#42