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Welsh Tories branded ‘masters of hypocrisy’ over support for farmers

26 Mar 2024 5 minute read
Farmers took part in a go slow protest in London – Image: Jordan Pettitt.

Emily Price

The Welsh Conservatives have been branded ‘masters of hypocrisy’ for claiming they stand with farmers the day after a mass protest took place in Westminster against UK Government agricultural policies in England.

Farmers arrived in London in their droves on Monday (March 25) to protest against the increasing difficulties faced by the farming industry which they say are leaving the nation’s food security at risk.

English farmers say the post-Brexit rural payments system which replaced EU subsidies has too many environmental regulations making it hard to compete with cheap imports that don’t have to meet the same strict criteria.

They are calling for an end to trade deals which they say are allowing imports of food produced to standards that would be illegal in the UK and undercutting British farmers.

Farmers take part in a tractor “go-slow” through Parliament Square – Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire

Overhaul

Organisers also criticised labelling that allows products to bear a Union flag when they have not been grown or reared in Britain.

Save British Farming and Fairness for Farmers of Kent assembled for a “go-slow” convoy of tractors around Westminster yesterday evening.

Similar scenes played out in Cardiff Bay in February as three thousand people descended on the Senedd in protest against a proposed overhaul of farming subsidies in Wales.

Farmers objected to Welsh Government plans that will require more land to be set aside for environmental schemes.

5500 pairs of wellies were laid on the steps of the Welsh Parliament representing jobs in the farming industry that could be lost due to Welsh Government plans.

Protesting farmers with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Welsh Conservative MSs. Photo Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Frustration

Farming unions branded Welsh Government proposals “unworkable” in their current form.

As anger and frustration mounted among farming communities, the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak showed his support publicly during a visit to the Welsh Conservative conference saying: “We’re going to do everything we can because we’ve got your back.”

The Welsh Tories have been at the forefront of calls for the new Sustainable Farming Scheme to be scrapped and Tory MSs have attended protests in Wales to give speeches and offer support to farmers.

The day after English farmers descended on Westminster, Andrew RT Davies posted a video to X of Wales’ new First Minister Vaughan Gething when he walked out of an ITV interview in 2017.

The former health minister was being quizzed on his decision not to hold a public inquiry into Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, following allegations that an employee had sexually assaulted patients.

Alongside the clip, Mr Davies shared another video of himself shaking hands with Welsh farmers outside the Senedd during the February protest with the caption: “Welsh Conservatives listen to Welsh farmers. Labour don’t.”

The clip of Mr Davies appears to have be dubbed to include the sound of applause as in the original video posted by ITV on February 28, Yma o Hyd can be heard playing in the background.

Plaid Cymru’s Farming and Rural Affairs spokesperson, Llyr Gruffydd branded the Welsh Conservatives “utterly hypocritical”.

He said: “The Conservatives have not got a leg to stand on when it comes to their finger pointing on agriculture policies.

“Let’s not forget that it was the Conservatives who broke their manifesto promise of ‘not a penny less’ funding for Welsh farming, leaving Welsh rural communities seriously short changed.

“They’ve also sold Welsh farming down the river with their trade deals that have undermined our domestic producers. They are utterly hypocritical.

“It seems that the Conservatives are more concerned with spin and online bravado than truly standing up for our agricultural communities.

“Whilst the Tories look for arguments Plaid Cymru will look for answers. Whilst the Tories make a noise Plaid Cymru will make a difference. We will keep standing up for Welsh farmers.”

In another post on Tuesday (March 26) to the Welsh Conservatives X account, they said: “We stand with our farmers. Labour calls them ‘cranks’.”

Labour backbencher Alun Davies says the Welsh Conservatives have “misled” farmers in Wales.

He said: “Welsh Tories are masters of hypocrisy. They have let down farmers in England the same as they have misled farmers in Wales.

“From Brexit to trade deals to domestic policy the Tories prioritise their friends in the city rather than our farmers.”

The Welsh Conservatives were invited to comment but did not respond.


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Jeff
Jeff
14 days ago

Brexit, the win that keeps on winning.

oh, wait.

i would have more time for the farmers if the Tory party had not tried to turn it into a band wagon. Because of the tory involvement, i don’t trust the claims now.

Erisian
Erisian
14 days ago

It’s what they do best.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
14 days ago

Come Davies and for that matter Sunak – show your undying support for the farmers – just like you did in Wales. Remember, you are always on the farmers side, aren’t you? Are yes, you can’t can you – it’s a Conservative policy in England! Damn hypocrites!

Rhddwen y Sais
Rhddwen y Sais
14 days ago

Ho ho ho there is a suggestion here that Plaid have policies.

hdavies15
hdavies15
14 days ago

Most farmers already know that anyone in any government or opposition is likely to be two faced or even worse. Very difficult to influence people who don’t really give a sh*t.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
14 days ago

Go for it farmers! Tell your traditional friends the Tories that you don’t want putting out of business by their selfish face saving post Break-it trade deals but be assured, they will not scrap the Australian giveaway gaff before the general election so PLEASE don’t let me see ‘Vote Conservative’ boards at the edge of your fields. I want you all to survive, thrive and provide the produce we all need but if you are going to support your own demise leaving the rest of us to eat dodgy muck from elsewhere, my sympathy for you will disappear.

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