25 June 1998
Lesson in farming for MPs, thanks to new trust

By FWi staff

MINISTERS, MPs, farmers, estate agents and businessmen gathered in the House of Commons last night for the inauguration of the Agricultural and Rural Parliament Trust.

The trust was launched to promote greater understanding among MPs and other opinion-formers, particularly the newly-elected urban MPs who have no direct experience of farming or knowledge of the difficulties facing rural communities at present.

The Trust plans to start a fellowship scheme under which MPs will be invited to farms. There, they will be able to experience first=hand the issues facing farmers and others who live and work in rural areas.

Sir James Spicer, retired MP and farmer, chairs the trust. Other trustees include Sir David Naish, former National Farmers Union president; Sir Jimmy James, a trustee of the Grosvenor Estates and the former secretary of the Duchy of Cornwall; and Norman Coward, agriculture director of Midland Bank.