Devon MP Neil Parish elected new Efra committee chairman

Farmer and Conservative MP Neil Parish has been elected as new chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Efra) Select Committee.

Mr Parish, who represents Tiverton and Honiton in Devon, was unopposed when nominations closed on Wednesday (10 June).

Since 2010 he has been a member of the cross-party committee, which scrutinises Defra’s activities and investigates current industry issues.

Mr Parish said he was very pleased to have been nominated and looked forward to working with MPs from all parties.

See also: Dairy farmers need defence from price drops, MPs urge

“Over the past five years I have enjoyed being a member of the committee and look forward to helping make sure that issues concerning our countryside, environment, flooding and food security are properly dealt with,” he said.  

Mr Parish managed his family’s Somerset farm after leaving school at 16.

He was a member of the European Parliament in the South West for 10 years before being elected to the House of Commons in 2010.

At Westminster, Mr Parish has been chairman of the all-party parliament groups on beef and lamb, eggs, pigs and poultry, and dairy.

In his nomination statement, Mr Parish said farmers and consumers both needed a “fair deal”.

He said the cost of living should not be in conflict with the infrastructure of the countryside.

His other views were:

  • The role of supermarket watchdog, the Groceries Code Adjudicator, should be strengthened to stop retailer exploitation of farmers
  • To fight rural flooding, proper power should be devolved to local drainage boards and local communities
  • All meat sold in the UK should be properly labelled, meaning farmers are rewarded for high welfare
  • Rural broadband should be rolled out much faster

Mr Parish’s nominators for the Efra post included former Defra secretary Caroline Spelman and ex-shadow farming minister Huw Irranca-Davies.

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