North Shropshire by-election: Environment Secretary visits family farm

Environment Secretary George Eustice praised a farm for its use of innovative methods to improve animal welfare during a visit to Shropshire.

Dr Shastri-Hurst and Mr Eustice
Dr Shastri-Hurst and Mr Eustice

Mr Eustice visited Lodge Farm at Black Park, Whitchurch, with Dr Neil Shastri-Hurst, Conservative candidate in next week's North Shropshire by-election.

The dairy farm is run by Graham Windsor and his son Tom.

Mr Eustice said: “The Lodge Farm in Whitchurch is a great example of innovative British farming.

"By using new methods, this family-run farm is improving animal welfare and helping to create a more sustainable future.

“I was delighted to visit them alongside our candidate Neil Shastri-Hurst, who I know is ready to work with me and support farmers across North Shropshire. Neil understands that local farms are vital not just to employment but to the character of places like North Shropshire."

Dr Shastri-Hurst, who is from Birmingham, said that protecting farms and rural communities was a key part of his plan for North Shropshire.

“The farming industry is the lifeblood of our constituency," he said.

"It’s really impressive to see the innovative and entrepreneurial efforts of our local farmers as they seek to diversify and improve productivity in a more sustainable way.

“My plan is to work with ministers to secure investment in our farms and rural communities and help to protect the special character of Shropshire."

Dr Shastri-Hurst is one of 14 candidates standing in the by-election on December 16, which bookmakers have as neck-and-neck between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.

The seat is traditionally a Tory stronghold but the Conservatives' chances have been damaged by recent revelations about parties in Number 10 during lockdown and the resignation of former MP Owen Paterson over his paid consultancy work.

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