Charles Sercombe

Leicestershire farmer Charles Sercombe has been nominated to stand as a candidate in the NFU’s forthcoming leadership elections.

Mr Sercombe, who is currently NFU livestock board chairman, has been nominated to run for the positions of NFU deputy and vice-president.

He received nominations to run for both posts from NFU members in the Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland group of counties.

See also: More nominations emerge for NFU elections

A further nomination was received from NFU Shropshire, with more nominations expected to emerge later from other counties.

Mr Sercombe said: “I am planning to accept nominations and run for both positions.

“This is a challenging and exciting time for agriculture – a crucial time for farmers because we are in the middle of the Brexit process.

“The union needs strong leadership.”

Mr Sercombe said he would not be seeking re-election as NFU livestock board chairman – a post he has held for the past six years.

Higher office

He said he had enjoyed the role, which had given him the necessary experience to seek higher office within the NFU.

A tenant farmer with dairy, beef and arable enterprises, Mr Sercombe farms in partnership with his wife Helen just outside Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

He has a particular interest in the sheep sector and as well as running a commercial flock, he has also been involved with the pedigree world for a number of years.

The leadership elections take place directly after the NFU’s annual conference and AGM in Birmingham on 20-21 February 2018.

Up for grabs

All three NFU leadership roles are up for grabs: president, deputy president and vice-president.

The election is considered to be wide open after Meurig Raymond’s decision the stand down as NFU president, having served two two-year terms as leader.

NFU deputy president Minette Batters has confirmed she will run for union president – and is expected to face a challenged from NFU vice-president Guy Smith.

Other confirmed election candidates include Hertfordshire farmer Stuart Roberts (deputy president and vice-president) and Somerset farmer James Small (vice-president).