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Where's the Farming Minister?

South West Greens call on environment Sec Owen Paterson to explain absence of farming minister

Leading Green Party members in the South West have expressed dismay over the apparent vacuum in farming policy, following news that nobody had been appointed to the role of farming minister following the sacking of David Heath in Tuesday's reshuffle.

Molly Scott Cato, lead South West Green Party candidate for the 2014 European elections said:

“We are shocked to discover what little priority the government places on agriculture. Clearly this sector plays the leading role in the economy of the Southwest. It is also vital for purposes of national security. As Greens we see food and farming as an intrinsic part of ensuring community resilience.”

Henry Gent another South West Green Party candidate for the European elections, spoke from his family farm in Devon:

“I need to know that there is somebody in Whitehall batting for me and fellow farmers here in Devon. It is astonishing to find that the government has left this post empty. Even if they now fill it, as something of an afterthought, it shows that their political priorities do not lie with rural communities and the farming industry.”

For more information please contact:

Andrew Bell, SW Green Party Press Officer abell@phonecoop.coop 07903 932220

Molly Scott Cato molly@gaianeconomics.org 07890 832891

Henry Gent: henry.gent@btopenworld.com 07974 373554

Picture: Molly Scott Cato with Henry Gent at Mosshayne Farm (organic dairy), Broadclyst, near Exeter

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