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Liz Truss publishes new book ‘Ten Years to Save the West’ today

Liz Truss has slammed “hugely disruptive” animal rights campaigners and reflected on her political career so far in a new book published today.

The South West Norfolk MP has looked back on the 14 years since she was first elected to Parliament in ‘Ten Years to Save the West’.

Published by Biteback and priced at £20, she discusses her political career thus far, her decade serving in government - including as Prime Minister - and the lessons she has learned which she now believes need to be taken on board by fellow Conservatives.

Liz Truss publishes 'Ten Years to Save the West' today
Liz Truss publishes 'Ten Years to Save the West' today

In the book, one of the common issues she discusses is her encounters with animal rights protesters and how they have shaped her attitudes.

An extract says: "The excesses of the animal rights lobby can be hugely disruptive.

“While the majority of their funders and supporters care about animal welfare, most also accept there has to be a balance struck between the humane treatment of animals on the one hand and the need to support agriculture and give people the choice to eat meat on the other.

South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss publishes her new book today
South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss publishes her new book today

“In my own constituency in South West Norfolk, I had to intervene to help pig farmers who were being targeted by vegan campaigners. The farmers had been facing ongoing problems getting their pigs into Norfolk markets.

"We simply cannot allow this kind of obstruction to be normalised: farmers have a right to go about their business and conservatives need to be firm in pushing back against this kind of activism.

“Every time a conservative appeases this lobby, for example by saying we should eat less meat or switch to non-dairy alternatives, they are giving succour to our opponents."

Ms Truss also discusses what she has learnt from representing a “thriving farming constituency”.

She adds: "Representing one of the best farming areas in Britain, with pigs, poultry and arable land, I was determined that the agriculture industry – vital for food security and also our economy – should thrive.

“Yet it was clear that farming was seen by too many as a ‘nice to have’, meaning it was subordinate to environmental goals. I was also frustrated that as a country we weren’t prouder of the food we produce and were not grasping its potential for growth.

"We have a lot to be proud of in terms of the quality of our food production. I felt as Environment Secretary – and I still feel – that we needed to do much better at promoting British food both at home and abroad.

“Food and farming in the UK contribute around £120billion to the economy and employ over four million people, which is far from insignificant, but there is still a huge amount of untapped potential.

“In seizing the opportunities presented by Brexit, we should be looking to grow and maximise our exports into new world markets. Farming is a great part of Britain’s heritage, and it should be a big part of our economic future too."

Ms Truss - who has been re-selected to contest South West Norfolk for the Conservatives at the next general election - also reflects on how “red tape and bureaucracy emanating from unelected and unaccountable bodies can scupper the intentions of elected politicians”.

In an age of environmental and climate change policies, for example, she explains how this was brought home to her during one important campaign.

"One of my campaigns as a constituency MP was a major expansion of the A11, which got built in 2015,” she says.

“The project had been hugely delayed and the price massively hiked by all the environmental objections and works. In particular, the builders had been forced to install ‘bat bridges’ so bats could travel safely across the road.

“Needless to say, no bat has ever been seen on these bridges. Anyway, bats fly!

“When [then Prime Minister] David Cameron came to see the new road being built, he bemoaned all the nonsense that had led to increased costs. It was just another example of how no one – not even the Prime Minister – could stop the environmental juggernaut."

Ms Truss’ book is available to order directly from her website at www.elizabethtruss.com/book/

She will be appearing at a series of events in and around Norfolk in late May where she will be signing copies of ‘Ten Years to Save the West’ and talking about the themes covered in the book.

These will include a book signing at Waterstones in Lynn, details of which will be available in due course.

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