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Former farm minister Jim Paice to retire as MP

April 16, 2013 by  
Filed under News & Business

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Tributes are being paid to former farm minister Jim Paice, who has chosen to stand down as an MP at the next general election.

Speaking to his constituency party, the MP for south-east Cambridgeshire said he would not contest his seat at the next election. Sir Jim has represented the South East Cambridgeshire constituency since 1987 being elected for a sixth term in 2010.

“It has always been at the forefront of economic growth in the UK whilst retaining much of what is great about our country,” he said. “I have also been privileged to serve in two governments including as the minister of agriculture which had long been my ambition.

It has been an incredibly exciting and rewarding life, but if I go on I am committing myself into my 70’s which I do not believe would be right. I think now it is time for the Conservative Party in south-east Cambridgeshire to look to someone else to carry their hopes and aspirations over the coming years.”

Sir Jim served as farm minister in the coalition government from 2010 until September 2012. Now on the backbenches, he still maintains a keen interest in the agricultural world and was recently appointed to the board of NIAB.

Cambridgeshire NFU county chairman Bob Lawrence said: “Sir Jim Paice has worked hard on behalf of his constituents and the farming industry throughout his time as MP, holding regular meetings with the NFU on both a constituency basis and farming basis.

Sir Jim’s best achievements were giving the go-ahead for badger culling trials to combat bovine TB in south-west England, recognising the need for a grocery code adjudicator and addressing the problem of too much red tape affecting farm businesses, said Mr Lawrence.

He added: “We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Jim for his dedicated and intelligent approach to some difficult decisions, while always demonstrating an informed understanding of our farming perspective.”

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