MID-Worcestershire Labour Party has accused local MP Nigel Huddleston of betraying the local farming community after voting in Parliament against measures which sought to protect UK farmers from low-standard food imports.

The vote was part of the Agriculture Bill debate which had its third reading in parliament on Wednesday, May 13.

It included an amendment which aimed to prevent future trade deals from allowing food into the UK which was not produced to the standards required of farmers and processors within the UK itself.

Many Conservative MPs, including Mr Huddleston, voted against the amendment, which was defeated by 328 to 277 votes.

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Helen Russell, Labour candidate for Mid Worcestershire at the last General Election, said: “Despite claiming to be ‘the party of the countryside’ the Conservatives, including our local MP, have let the local farming community down.

"The vote means that food imports to this country will be cheap partly because they are allowed to be produced to lower standards, often with scant regard to animal welfare. This threatens the livelihood of local farmers and agricultural workers.”

Mr Huddleston said: “I fully recognise the importance the public attach to the UK’s high standards of food production, and the unique selling point it provides for our farmers, whose high-quality produce is in demand around the world.

"I know that in trade negotiations the Government will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food safety standards.

"These standards have been built up over many years and have the trust of the public and the world and we’ve been clear that we won’t adjust these standards to secure a trade deal. Our high standards will be based on science and decided by the UK alone.”