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East Anglia’s rural leaders welcome new farming minister

PUBLISHED: 10:49 06 March 2019 | UPDATED: 11:12 06 March 2019

Robert Goodwill has been appointed as Defra's new farming minister. Picture: Simon Finlay.

Robert Goodwill has been appointed as Defra's new farming minister. Picture: Simon Finlay.

The appointment of a farmer as the new agriculture minister has been welcomed by rural business leaders in East Anglia.

Robert Goodwill, the Conservative MP for Scarborough and Whitby, has taken over the role vacated by George Eustice, who quit the government last week in response to the prime minister’s decision to allow a vote on delaying Brexit, which he claimed could bring about “the final humiliation of our country”.

Mr Goodwill, a former MEP who has also held ministerial positions in the departments of education and transport, has been a farmer since 1979, on 250 acres of land near Malton in North Yorkshire, which has been in his family since 1850.

Ben Underwood, East regional director of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), said: “We would like to welcome Robert Goodwill to the role which comes at a critical time for farming.

“As a farmer himself he will be all too aware of the major issues and uncertainties landowners and farmers are currently facing across their businesses, and will have an innate understanding of the vital role they play for society as producers of food and stewards of the countryside. This can only be a positive for our members and the wider farming community.

“We know from previous ministerial roles that Robert is willing to listen and engage on the issues that matter and we are looking forward to him continuing the good work of his predecessor and working together to deliver a bright future for the rural economy.”

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