Boris Johnson responds to Jeremy Clarkson in Twitter farming row

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has responded to Jeremy Clarkson on Twitter after the TV presenter-cum-farmer called on the government to prioritise farming in the next parliament.

The former Top Gear host said farmers had been asked to diversify but were being restricted by local authorities, after he claimed to have been blocked from selling American crayfish – a non-native species – at his farm shop.

Clarkson has become an unlikely campaigner for the farming industry after starring in the Amazon series Clarkson’s Farm, which follows his journey growing crops and looking after livestock.

In a video addressed to No 10 and posted on his social media accounts, he said: “Hi, I am Jeremy Clarkson and in the next parliament I would like to see the government prioritising farming.

“We have been asked to diversify and when we try to do that the local authorities tell us we can’t. That needs addressing.”

READ MORE: Government food strategy is blasted by critics
despite Johnson’s promise to ‘back farmers’ 

In response, the prime minister said he hoped Clarkson had been able to look at the government’s controversial food strategy  which was released on Monday morning and has been widely panned by critics.

Johnson said: “What we want to do is back farmers in all sorts of ways, particularly making sure they have access to the labour they need, but also supporting them when it comes to their fuel costs, their fertiliser costs, but supporting them also with innovation.

“What we want to do particularly for farmers – and I know that you care about this a lot – is ensure that we say that when farmers want to develop their property, when they want to turn a barn into a bistro – or whatever you want to do – that we make sure that computer does not say no and we help them, and we help farmers to make the most of their crops and make the most of their land as well.”

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