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East Anglian farmer blasts MP for ‘failing’ to hold meeting on Brexit implications

PUBLISHED: 11:39 04 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:42 05 October 2018

Farmer William Hudson of Bressingham Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Farmer William Hudson of Bressingham Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2013

An East Anglian farmer has hit out at his MP for ‘failing’ to hold a meeting to discuss the implications of Brexit with his constituents.

South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSouth Norfolk MP Richard Bacon Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Pro-Remainer William Hudson, of Bressingham in Norfolk, is at loggerheads with South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon, a committed Brexiter. Mr Hudson believes it is Mr Bacon’s - and other MPs - ‘duty’ to hold a public meeting to enable constituents to understand the implications of Brexit, such as for farms and other businesses, particularly in light of his Brexit stance. But Mr Bacon says his overwhelming impression, talking to his constituents at his surgery and on the street, is they just want the government to ‘get on with it’.

Mr Hudson, who is part of the management team of a large farm near Ipswich growing organic and conventional vegetables and cereals over 4800 acres and a director of British-grown pulses and grains firm Hodmedod, based at Halesworth, expressed anger at the MP’s attitude.

“He should be engaging with them (his constituents) as to the implications of Brexit, especially as he voted Leave. He has failed to communicate with me when I have asked him on a number of occasions if he will have a meeting with his constituents, yet again showing his failure to engage with his constituents,” he said.

Mr Hudson also complained that where he had been aware of meetings, they had included a breakfast charge, which he refused to pay on principle. Mr Bacon responded: “I am not sure which specific breakfast meeting Mr Hudson was referring to – there have been quite a few – but, as far as I know, no free breakfast was available at any of them.”

Mr Bacon, who believes European Union membership “has been bad for farming”, said he heard from constituents at his surgeries and on the street.

“Overwhelmingly, the impression I get is that they just wish the government would get on with it, a view that I share,” he said. “As one of the local MPs in East Anglia who campaigned actively for Brexit, it won’t surprise you to know that during the referendum campaign I took part in a large number of public meetings, organised by various different bodies. These meetings were all open to the public. There was no charge for any of them.”

He added: “I do think that people have had enough of talking on this subject. They want to see action.”

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