Prospective NFU candidates battle it out at Newmarket hustings

Clacton farmer Guy Smith, NFU vice president, is the only East Anglian farmer standing for major of

Clacton farmer Guy Smith, NFU vice president, is the only East Anglian farmer standing for major office in the NFU elections next month. - Credit: Archant

Members will be able to quiz candidates for the top three posts in the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) at an East Anglian hustings event this week.

Clacton farmer and NFU vice president for two years Guy Smith, who will be vying for the same post as well as the next step up - deputy president - will be among them.

He described the two-year election cycle as “healthy”.

“It’s only right that people should be challenged,” he said.

Farmers standing for NFU president, deputy president and vice president are touring the regions next week to make their case to farmers at eight hustings, the last of which is at the NFU office at Newmarket on Thursday.

Farmer members will be able to hear the prospective officeholders making their pitch for the posts at the hustings, which takes place from 2pm.

Current president, Meurig Raymond, will battle it out with Minette Batters, currently his deputy, and Alistair Mackintosh for the top role.

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Mrs Batters will also be competing in the deputy president race with Rosey Dunn, Alistair Mackintosh, Charles Sercombe and Guy Smith.

Vying for vice president will be Guy Smith, Rosey Dunn, Anthony Rew and Charles Sercombe.

NFU regional director Robert Sheasby said: “I would urge farmers to take the opportunity to go to our hustings, listen to and question the candidates and help shape the future of our organisation.

“There are some big challenges and opportunities for the industry in the months ahead, in particular the EU referendum, so it’s really important that members come along to gauge the candidates’ views.”

Members should book their place by phoning 01638 672100 or by emailing meetingsea@nfu.org.uk.

The elections take place at the end of the union’s conference and AGM, in Birmingham, on February 24.

The East Anglian event takes place at the regional office, Agriculture House, Newmarket, on Thursday, January 28, at 2pm.