2 February 2000
Gill re-elected as NFU chief
By FWi staff
BEN Gill has been re-elected as president of the National Farmers Union.
Tim Bennett has been voted in as deputy president of the union, and Richard Watson Jones has been elected as vice-president.
Mr Bennett first became NFU deputy president in 1998. He has also served on the unions livestock committee and the finance and organisation committee.
Mr Watson Jones chaired the NFUs membership working group, which last year said the union should be more accountable to its members.
Mr Watson Jones said he was looking forward to working with Mr Gill, Mr Bennett and the government to work out a long-term strategy for farming.
He said he was concerned that the numbers of farmers could fall further unless immediate crisis management was started.
He looked forward to further reform in the union, but said that change should not break up the NFUs strength.
There was no place in the leadership for militant south-west farmer Richard Haddock, who stood for the deputy and vice-president positions.
Mr Haddock, who withdrew from the leadership battle to focus on contesting the other positions, has a strong grassroots following and polled 81% in a Farmers Weekly leadership poll.
Former deputy president Tony Pexton, who lost the leadership contest, ends his eight years in the union hierarchy.
Michael Lambert was voted in as treasurer.
The 92-strong NFU council cast their votes in a straight ballot.