Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Farmers Welcome Defra's New Boss

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Farmers Welcome Defra's New Boss

Article excerpt

THE NFU has paid tribute to Caroline Spelman for her two years as Defra secretary, which ended with this week's Government reshuffle.

Mrs Spelman was replaced by former Northern Ireland secretary Owen Paterson.

He was a shadow Defra minister between 2003 and 2005, and is known to be a climate change sceptic who is pro-badger culling and a fox hunting supporter. NFU president Peter Kendall said: "I'd like to thank Caroline Spelman for leading Defra for more than two years.

"The economic background has made this a particularly difficult period to be in charge of a spending department such as Defra, and she made some bold decisions on key issues, not least her commitment to tackle the devastating problem of bovine TB faced by cattle farmers.

"She has also worked incredibly hard to foster strong and meaningful relationships with our partners in Europe, a vital element in our efforts to ensure forthcoming reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy do not discriminate against the interests of British farmers. …

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