27 May 1998
Readers quiz Cunningham in the House

FARMERS WEEKLY and FWi readers made their voices heard in Parliament last week when shadow farm minister Michael Jack asked farm minister Jack Cunningham about farmings future on their behalf.

Speaking during the annual parliamentary debate on agriculture in the House of Commons (Thursday, 22 May), Mr Jack asked a series of questions submitted by FW and FWi readers.

“Why is it that in just 12 months of a Labour Government, the confidence of farmers has declined so dramatically?” he asked on behalf of Peter Hall of Wrexham.

For Mr Ward of Rotherham, Mr Jack questioned whether the minister would do anything to help lowland suckler herds. And, on behalf of Leslie Foss, Mr Jack asked: “What is the future for young farmers?”

Mr Jack received no direct answers but promised to send the “searching questions” to Dr Cunningham. “If the Government are the peoples government, the peoples farmers deserve a reply from him,” he said.

Closing the debate, junior farm minister Jeff Rooker said Mr Jack ” … was the prize in a magazine contest. That was the result of his speech today. There was a litany of questions. Did anyone read last weeks competition in Farmers Weekly? The winner of the competition received a speech from the Right Hon Gentleman [Mr Jack]. He was first prize in a competition.”

  • FWi will report Dr Cunninghams response when it becomes available