15 June 2001

Turbulent time ends for Brown

WHEN Nick Brown had been at MAFF for two-and-a-half years, he joked that he had survived the 30-month cull that usually accounted for farm ministers as well as cattle.

He was the longest lasting farm minister since John Gummer, but, just days after his joke at the NFUs annual general meeting, foot-and-mouth disease emerged.

MAFFs handling of the crisis was heavily criticised and Mr Brown lasted only four more months before demotion to a junior post as minister for work in the post-election reshuffle.

As well as F&M, Mr Brown had to deal with an outbreak of swine fever, the French beef ban crisis, the end of the BSE inquiry and the Agenda 2000 CAP reform.

Despite drawing flak during each of the crises, industry leaders appreciated his hard work and genuine concern and were impressed by his grasp of complex issues. &#42