13 September 2001
New Tory leader to replace Yeo?

By FWi staff

FARMERS are waiting to see if the new leader of the Tory Party will choose to replace Tim Yeo MP as opposition farm spokesman when he names his new cabinet.

Kenneth Clarke and Iain Duncan Smith will learn at about 17.00 on Thursday (13 September) which of them has been elected as leader of the opposition.

Officials at Conservative Central office are currently counting the ballot papers submitted by an estimated 250,000 Party members.

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

The new leader will make only a brief statement at this time but in due course will announce who he wants to have on his front-bench.

Speaking exclusively to FARMERS WEEKLY last week, the two candidates 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.