Former Defra secretary Owen Paterson has said he is proud he took on the green lobby during his time in office, dismissing them as the “Green Blob”.

Mr Paterson said there was a “mutually supportive network of environmental pressure groups, renewable energy companies and some public officials who keep each other well supplied with lavish funds, scare stories and green tape”.

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These groups claimed to have the interests of the planet and the countryside at heart, but were focusing on the wrong issues and doing real harm, he claimed.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Paterson said local conservationists and farmers did some wonderful work and they were a world away from the “highly paid globe-trotters of the Green Blob who besieged me with their self-serving demands”.

On the issue of bovine TB, Mr Paterson said: “When I proposed a solution to the dreadful suffering of cattle, badgers and farmers as a result of the bovine tuberculosis epidemic that Labour allowed to develop, I was opposed by rich pop stars who had never been faced with having to cull a pregnant heifer.”

The former minister said he may have annoyed these people, but they did not represent the real countryside of farmers and workers, of birds and butterflies.

“Like the nationalised industries and obstructive trade unions of the 1970s, the Green Blob has become a powerful self-serving caucus; it is the job of the elected politician to stand up to them,” he said.

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