Northern Farmers and Landowners Group shocked at Owen Paterson sacking

Owen Paterson was a well-regarded countryman on top of his Defra brief, says Angus Collingwood-Cameron

Owen Paterson
Owen Paterson

A Northern rural group says it was shocked by Owen Paterson’s sacking as Defra Secretary, to be replaced by Liz Truss.

Angus Collingwood-Cameron, of for the Northern Farmers and landowners group (NFLG), said: “Mr Paterson is a well-regarded countryman and displayed a comprehensive understanding of his brief.

“He was willing to take difficult decisions when he believed it to be right for the countryside and has steered Defra through a difficult period.

“I look forward to a similar working relationship with Elizabeth Truss. She will need to hit the ground running as Defra is now working to a very tight timescale to implement the administrative changes required to operate the new Common Agricultural Policy support system, complete with a complex new computer system.

“No farmer will need reminding of the total fiasco that resulted from Defra’s inability to administer the last change to CAP under the tenure of Mrs Beckett.

“Given the vital importance of the implementation of the new CAP to the farming and wider rural community, it does not seem an ideal time to change the leadership of Defra.”

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