The Welsh Liberal Democrats have warned that the UK now has the least farming friendly Prime Minister in a decade after Liz Truss was elected as the new Leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader and Mid & West Wales Senedd Member Jane Dodds.
The Party argues that Liz Truss’ record shows she is a foe rather than friend to Welsh farming and that she has been willing to sell out Welsh farmers for a quick buck in the past. The party also have highlighted the lack of a rural agenda throughout her leadership campaign.
Liz Truss as Trade Secretary headed the Australian and New Zealand trade deals with the UK. The deals are widely considered to be damaging to Welsh and UK agriculture with both the NFU and FUW stating that the deals represent a real threat to Welsh family farms an agriculture.
Over the weekend, Mark Tufnell, president of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), which represents about 30,000 landowners and rural businesses, highlighted how Liz Truss had done little to show how she would boost the countryside economy and deal with pressing concerns such as planning, rural broadband, and farm support.
Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader and Senedd Member for Mid & West Wales Jane Dodds said:
“It is clear that with the election of Liz Truss to the leadership of the Conservative Party, we now have the least farming friendly Prime Minister in decades.
“Truss sold out our Welsh farmers for the Australian and New Zealand trade deals without a fight and for nothing in return, placing our rural communities at great risk. With the UK Government also pursuing trade deals with countries such as the US, Brazil and Argentina this could only get worse under Truss as Prime Minister.
“Throughout the leadership campaign, there was a distinct lack of attention paid to rural areas by Liz Truss, despite the fact most Conservative MPs in the UK and here in Wales represent rural areas.
“We have seen this throughout the Conservative Party as a whole throughout the last decade, they take rural areas for granted, they don’t think they need to work hard to earn votes anymore because they expect to coast through easily at election time.
“Yet with a record of failure not just on trade deals, but also on rural infrastructure such as broadband connectivity, there is a rural revolt in the air.
“With the Conservative Party and Liz Truss having such poor records on standing up for farming and rural communities its clear rural Wales needs a friend and the Liberal Democrats are ready to be that friend.
“Overturning massive majorities in rural, traditionally Conservative constituencies such as North Shropshire and Tiverton and Honiton, as well as taking control of rural counties such as Powys in Wales show that rural voters are trusting us to demand better for their communities.”