Shropshire Star

Helen Morgan's pointed response to government minister after criticism of farming magazine

Shropshire's Liberal Democrat MP has made a humorous yet pointed response to a government minister's remarks about a farming magazine.

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Helen Morgan shared a photo of her reading Farmers Weekly in response to Therese Coffey's comments

Helen Morgan, who represents the North Shropshire constituency, shared a photo on Twitter of her reading a copy of Farmers Weekly in her Westminster office.

Along with it was the comment: "Plenty of copies for you here @theresecoffey for when you decide to start taking farmers' needs seriously!"

The response comes after the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary's hostile appearance in front of a cross-party committee of MPs on Tuesday, in which she criticised the magazine.

Robert Goodwill, chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, asked her if she had read the recent editorial in which editor Andrew Meredith described her appearance at the National Farmers' Union (NFU) Conference as a “car crash”.

Helen Morgan shared a photo of her reading Farmers Weekly in response to Therese Coffey's comments

In response, Ms Coffey said she was "into information and facts", and accused Mr Meredith of “voting Liberal Democrat for a decade before joining Labour”, something he has described as false.

In a sometimes ill-tempered hearing, the minister also said she had not seen comments made by the chairman of Tesco that he believed there was excess profiteering in the food chain. She said it was not her job to set food prices when challenged about regulating the market amid claims of profits 96 per cent higher post-pandemic compared to the period before Covid struck.

When asked about post-pandemic profit levels at supermarkets, she said: "We have instigated supply chain reviews because we are looking at that, but I have not investigated Tesco PLC's individual accounts."

Speaking afterwards, Mrs Morgan said: "Thérèse Coffee seems determined to rub salt into the gaping wounds that her Government has created.

“The Conservatives have botched support schemes, signed trade deals that sell out British farmers in favour of Australians and now they’re openly ignoring the fears of farmers who are struggling to stay in business.

“Farmers are the backbone of North Shropshire and the backbone of Britain and they deserve to have a Government that stands up for their needs."