Campaign for rural votes gathers pace

THE campaign for rural votes has gathered pace with a visit by Nick Herbert, shadow secretary of state for environment, to Billockby Farm.Accompanied by Great Yarmouth Tory candidate Brandon Lewis, he discussed a raft of issues affecting agriculture with farm owner Henry Alston.

THE campaign for rural votes has gathered pace with a visit by Nick Herbert, shadow secretary of state for environment, to Billockby Farm.

Accompanied by Great Yarmouth Tory candidate Brandon Lewis, he discussed a raft of issues affecting agriculture with farm owner Henry Alston.

His visit came less than 24 hours after secretary of state for environment Hilary Benn's appearance in nearby Somerton to launch Labour's rural manifesto - a document summarily dismissed by Mr Herbert.

“Labour's rural manifesto is a contradiction in terms. After 13 years of Labour, people in rural communities feel they are treated as second class citizens,” he said.

He said rural communities deserved to be respected by a government that would care for them as much as people living in towns and treat them equally.

Reviving the rural economy was an urgent objective as unemployment in rural areas had risen 60pc in the past two years, a faster rate than the country as a whole.

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He said: “We must stop Labour's job tax as that will hit rural areas hard.”