Eagle-eyed politics fans tuning into Westminster today may have noticed an unusual addition to the suits of various MPs – but one has skipped out on it.
Various MPs, including Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, have added a piece of wheat to their lapels.
However, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has notably suited up without the piece of grain on his chest.
The unusual ornaments are part of a campaign to support farmers named Back British Farming, an initiative by the National Farmers Union.
Now hitting its eighth year, the annual event celebrates the work of British farmers – with this year being particularly pertinent as farmers call on the government for aid as their industry struggles under the cost of living crisis, labour problems, and supply-chain issues.
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NFU Scotland has also been vocal in its criticism of the government for signing up to post-Brexit trade deals with countries like Australia and New Zealand.
They argue the deals undermine domestic farmers’ high welfare standards for livestock.
Some of the UK’s most senior politicians, including former prime ministers, have donned the wheat to show their support.
Sir Keir wore one today and last year – but Mr Sunak chose to go without both times.
Back British Farming Day this year focuses on the winners of the NFU’s Community Farming Heroes award.
They are nominated by MPs and given to farmers and growers for outstanding contributions to their local community and the country.
NFU president Minette Batters said this year’s event comes at an “extremely important” time for British farming.
“As producers of the nation’s food – with world-leading standards of animal welfare, as custodians of our working environment, and as an employer of 301,000 people – British farmers across the country will be celebrating Back British Farming Day,” she said.
“This year’s event comes at an extremely important time for British farming, and for the country. As the nation faces continued economic challenges, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s immediate priority will be to establish economic stability for the whole country.
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“This includes for our farmers and growers who, like many households, continue to face significant challenges, including rising energy costs.”
She said that while the NFU was “ambitious”, it needed this to be “matched” by the government and “backed up” by its policy.
Ms Batters added: “For the country, and its farmers, honesty and certainty about the future will be absolutely vital.
“A government that backs British farming will be backing the development and growth in all of these key areas, so we ask all MPs to wear their wheatsheaf pin badge with pride to show their support for Back British Farming Day.”
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