Government ‘has ignored farming’

Conservative MP and shadow minister for agriculture Jim Paice has accused the government of not holding a debate on the future of farming in the House of Commons for more than three years.

He said the last debate on a government motion on the environment, food and rural affairs took place on 12 December 2002.

Mr Paice, MP for south-east Cambridgeshire, is calling on the government to give greater priority to the future of UK farming in future debates.

“Farming in this country is undergoing the biggest change since 1947, yet the government hasn’t seen fit to debate the subject for over three years,” he said.

“This government is out of touch with rural Britain and has little interest in the future of farming.”

A DEFRA spokesman said that although the government had not tabled a debate on agriculture for some time, the subject was discussed regularly in the House, either in response to a parliamentary question or at select committee meetings.