The new government needs to quickly engage with farmers and the countryside

Labour secured a huge majority by almost default with the Tory party in complete disarray. The fact that the Tories lost so many rural seats shows just how badly the party has lost touch with the core values of conservatism.

However, the new government has got a long, long road ahead of itself when it comes to actually winning over the countryside. The word 'rural' did not appear once in the Labour manifesto.

It can make some easy gains. If this government is going to tackle crime then it needs to look at rural policing.

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As Andrew Vine writes in The Yorkshire Post today there is a lack of officers tasked with combating rural crime.

Labour MP Steve Reed leaves 10 Downing Street, London, after being appointed Environment Secretary. PIC: Tejas Sandhu/PA WireLabour MP Steve Reed leaves 10 Downing Street, London, after being appointed Environment Secretary. PIC: Tejas Sandhu/PA Wire
Labour MP Steve Reed leaves 10 Downing Street, London, after being appointed Environment Secretary. PIC: Tejas Sandhu/PA Wire

Properly equipped specialist police officers on a rural beat would be a welcome sight for many communities across the countryside who have suffered as a result of rising crime.

The Labour government needs to show over the next few months that it really understands the importance of British farming.

Not least when it comes to food security. Steve Reed has got his work cut out as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

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Farmers are having to consider alternative revenue streams as a result of tough market conditions. Rising cost of living and the complexities of Brexit have made life really difficult for farmers, just when their importance has become ever more apparent.

But president of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), Tom Bradshaw’s words show that the door is open for Labour to engage meaningfully with farmers.

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