Michael Fabricant told the Rt Hon Margaret Beckett (Leader of the House) and the House of Commons at 1pm today of his shock at the decision to cancel the Staffordshire County Show – one of the largest agricultural shows in the country – because of the speed of the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the County. He told the House: "This will be the first time, in over 200 years, that the Staffordshire County Show has had to be cancelled in peacetime."
He went on to ask the Leader of the House whether MPs seeking re-election will continue to be informed of foot and mouth outbreaks in their constituencies during a general election campaign. But she answered that this would not be possible as Parliament is dissolved during a general election.
"At a time when foot and mouth is rampaging through Staffordshire, Cumbria and elsewhere and farmers are terrified that they will be infected next, it is extraordinary that the Government is considering dissolving Parliament which, under our constitution, prevents me and other MPs from protecting their constituents and contacting Agriculture ministers on their behalf." adds Michael Fabricant.