North Shropshire by-election: Farmer discusses requirements
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A voter in the North Shropshire constituency has listed what Boris Johnson’s candidate must do for their vote in the upcoming by-election. The election in the long-standing Conservative seat was triggered following the resignation of MP Owen Paterson in November. The farmer in the market town of Oswestry told the BBC his vote would go to the candidate who best represented the area’s rural heartlands.
Barry Jones told BBC News: “With my farming hats on it’s very much a local issue we are five market towns in North Shropshire as you said, all surrounded by very productive agriculture.
“And in this post-Brexit world we’re living in with things being so much up in the air, we just don’t know how it’s all going to land.
“So we need an MP in this area who’s going to go and fight very hard for rural issues.”
The BBC reporter asked: “Which particular rural issues and how important is it that that person is a local person?
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“Not 100 percent that it’s got to be a local person,” replied Mr Jones.
“But it’s got to be somebody who’s got a grasp of agriculture and rural affairs and will take our arguments down to London.”
He stressed the need for an MP who would “force on our trade negotiators who are doing trade deals throughout the world, how important it is that we get very fair deals for our British farmers.
“That will impact on North Shropshire greatly.”
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When asked who he intended to vote for at the ballot box on Thursday, the farmer gave nothing away.
The BBC reporter probed: “How clear Are you?
“I won’t ask you who, but how clear are you as to where your vote will go this Thursday?
Mr Jones replied: “I think I’ve decided yes, and it’s based on who I think he’s going to do the best for the rural constituency, and particularly farmers.”
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The Conservative Party returned a comfortable majority of almost 23,000 in North Shropshire at the 2019 election.
However, the resignation of MP Owen Paterson and a series of Government crises in recent weeks have whipped up concerns from Conservative activists of a voter backlash.
The odds have been slashed on the Liberal Democrats causing a by-election upset
Party leader Sir Ed Davey said on Sunday that voters in North Shropshire: “Now have an opportunity to tell Boris Johnson that the party is over.”
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