Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 5°C

ESTD 1874 Search

St Osyth: Farmer Guy Smith throws hat in ring for presidency of National Farmers’ Union

15:22 13 November 2013

St Osyth Farmer Guy Smith has put his name forward for the NFU presidency

St Osyth Farmer Guy Smith has put his name forward for the NFU presidency

Archant

An Essex farmer has thrown his hat in the ring for the presidency of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU).

shares

Guy Smith of St Osyth is set to challenge Welshman Meurig Raymond, who is currently deputy president, for the top spot when Peter Kendall steps down next year.

Mr Smith, who has been NFU county delegate for the past 10 years and chairman of the communications committee for eight, accepted a nomination by his county branch on Monday.

He is the first candidate to confirm he will stand against Mr Raymond, who announced last month he would run for president after eight years as deputy.

Mr Smith pointed out that the last few elections had been one candidate affairs, and said he was keen for the NFU to use elections to discuss policy.

“I’m very proud to have been nominated by my county for the positions of NFU president and deputy president,” he said.

“In running for the Presidency my first concern is to ensure there is more than one candidate for the post. Meurig Raymond is an old friend but I suspect he would agree that ‘one candidate’ elections do not make for good democracy. Office holder elections should be times of keen policy discussion within the NFU and you don’t get that with North Korean style single candidate ballots. I want to make sure people have choice. The presidency of the NFU is a very important role that should be decided by contest not through ‘ buggins turn’. If putting my hat in the ring encourages others to do the same then even better.

“Having said that I’m keen to give both posts my best shot. If I had one urgent and immediate policy goal it would simply to make sure we ask the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) at every turn ‘ what impact would this proposal have on UK farm production?’. It is a question that is not asked enough and it is how we have sleep walked into declining food security in this country over the last 30 years.”

Mr Smith, 54, whose children are aged 17, 21 and 23, said he was in a position where he could afford to devote the time to the job.

The presidency was “most ambitious thing” that farmers aspired to, he said.

“I’ll give this my best shot and I’m confident I can do the job,” he added.

shares

0 comments

Mark Bee and his deputy Lisa Chambers at Endeavour House in Ipswich after they saw off last year's challenge to their leadership.

Conservative councillor Mark Bee is to step down as leader of Suffolk County Council after four years in the role.

Voting isn't the only form of political engagement

The ideological machine that is meant to serve us has gone wrong and is tyrannising us, but that doesn’t mean we should boycott the ballot box

Suffolk has an ageing population - but can we cope?

Dramatic increases in the average age of people in Suffolk have been highlighted in a report which reveals that in some areas nearly one in 10 are expected to be aged 85 or over in the next two decades.

Damage to overhead wires between Diss and Stowmarket - photo courtesy of Greater Anglia

Rail users face an afternoon and evening of severe delays on routes between Norwich and London, after high winds caused damage to overhead power lines between Stowmarket and Diss.

There is the potential for sweeping changes at Braintree District Council come election day – though in practice that is unlikely to happen.

Klaudia Sokolowska

Police are searching for a 14-year-old girl in Felixstowe who has gone missing for the third time in three months.

Hunting for eggs

Will you be feeding the newborn lambs at The Museum of East Anglian Life, trying your hand at archery at Ickworth House or hunting eggs at The Middy’s Steam up this weekend?

Princess Anne meets Livability Treetops Service Manager Janet Bilton during her visit to Livability Treetops in Colchester on Tuesday.

The Princess Royal flew in to Colchester today as part of her work supporting a disability charity.

Firefighters were called to the house fire

Firefighters were called to a house fire in Stowmarket this afternoon.

Fears over future of probation service in Suffolk and elsewhere in East Anglia

Criminals jailed for up to a year could be supervised over the phone and use kiosks to report to the probation service electronically once they are released back in the community.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages