A north Essex farmer has been chosen to head up the National Farmers' Union following the departure of Minette Batters.

Tom Bradshaw has taken over the reins from Ms Batters after she completed six years in the role. He ran unopposed for the position.

The farmer, who runs an arable operation in Fordham, near Colchester, will represent more than 46,000 farmers and growers across England and Wales.

He has risen through the ranks from vice president to deputy president over the last four years.

He will be joined by deputy president David Exwood and vice president Rachel Hallos.

East Anglian Daily Times:

Tom said it was a "deep honour" to be chosen to lead the organisation.

“The 46,000 members we represent will be my absolute focus as I lead this superb organisation," he said.

“Profitable production, and the stability and clarity which allows NFU members to plan for and reinvest in their farming and growing businesses will always be my priority. 

"This sits at the heart of delivering sustainable, high-quality and high-welfare food for our country.

"In the run-up to the general election we have the overwhelming support of the public and all political parties must put a plan in place for home-grown food.

“I also want to focus on forging ever-closer connections with NFU members on the ground. My message to our membership is simple: this is your organisation. We need to hear your views and we need your input. United we are a powerful voice.

“I would also like, on behalf of all NFU members, and I suspect, the public, to thank our outgoing President Minette Batters, for her years of dedication to the NFU, service which has led to outstanding successes.

“We are in a challenging time for agriculture in England and Wales, but it’s also a time of great opportunity, and the NFU will be at the heart of delivering results for our members.”

David Exwood said it was essential that farmers are recognised by all political parties for the climate-friendly food they produce, economic contribution they make to rural communities and their role as caretakers of the countryside.

Rachel Hallos said she was looking forward to working with Tom and David over the next two years to navigate the industry through times of much change.