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Volume 742: debated on Wednesday 6 December 2023

Last week, I had the pleasure of talking to farmers at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society winter fair, and at livestock markets in Sennybridge and Talybont in my constituency. The UK Government are committed to backing Welsh farming, most notably by allocating more than £900 million to the Welsh Government. That delivers on our manifesto commitment to maintain funding for farmers and land managers at 2019 levels.

Farmers across the UK—from those in the country of Wales to those in the village of Wales in Rother Valley—face increasing pressures. The Minister will know that I am holding my next farmers’ forum with the Minister for Food, Farming and Fisheries, my right hon. Friend the Member for Sherwood (Mark Spencer), early next year in Rother Valley. What is my hon. Friend doing to support farmers in the country of Wales, farmers in the village of Wales in Rother Valley and farmers across the whole of the UK?

I congratulate my hon. Friend on his work to ensure that the voice of farming is heard by the Minister. Like me, he understands that farmers across this country are the beating heart of the rural economy, driving growth in rural constituencies such as mine. I must say, that attitude stands in stark contrast to that of the Labour party in Wales, which has already cut £37 million from the Welsh agriculture budget. We wait with trepidation to see what damage Labour will do to Welsh farmers next week.

I call Stephen Doughty—[Interruption.] Order. That just proves the point: Members are not paying the least bit of attention to a colleague who is about to speak—he could not even hear his name being called. It is rude to keep talking when someone is trying to ask an important question.