British farmers descend on central London during rush hour in angry protest over ‘lack of government support’

25 March 2024, 18:16 | Updated: 25 March 2024, 22:41

British farmers descend on central London

Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

An army of tractors descended on central London during rush hour this evening as they launched a huge protest over a 'lack of support for British farming'.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Save British Farming and Fairness for Farmers of Kent got together to launch their 'go-slow' convoy, which started in Kent earlier today.

They arrived in Westminster shortly before 6pm, with around 100 tractors involved, according to organisers.

Richard Ash, a farmer from Kent, told LBC’s Andrew Marr that the farmers were protesting against “unfair labelling by retailers and subsidised imports”.

British farmer speaks to LBC amid Westminster protest

“Food is coming from all over the world on planes, lorries and boats, with a huge carbon footprint, we feel,” Mr Ash told LBC.

“It isn’t to the same standard that our British food is. We just want to grow food for the British public.

“We want to get a fair price for what we do and not to be prejudiced against by imports.”

Farmers take part in a tractor 'go-slow' through Parliament Square, Westminster
Farmers take part in a tractor 'go-slow' through Parliament Square, Westminster. Picture: Alamy
Farmers from across the country at a tractor rally in Westminster
Farmers from across the country at a tractor rally in Westminster. Picture: Alamy
Farmers protests in the UK today
Farmers protests in the UK today. Picture: Alamy

It follows months of similar protests across the European Union, including in Spain, Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

Here in the UK, the tractors had Union flags plastered on the front, while protesters were seen waving placards with messages such as: "No farmers, no food, no future."

Liz Webster, founder of Save British Farming, said: “In 2019, this Government was elected with a mandate to uphold our standards and deliver a ready-made deal with the EU which would see British agriculture boom.

“It is now entirely obvious that they have totally betrayed us all.”

Read More: Brexit was the 'biggest disaster in British policy making since the Second World War,' Lord Patten tells Andrew Marr

Read More: EU import deal will support Ukraine while protecting bloc’s farmers

The government has defended its position, claiming it puts farming "at the heart of British trade".

Farming Minister Mark Spencer said: “We firmly back our farmers. British farming is at the heart of British trade, and we put agriculture at the forefront of any deals we negotiate, prioritising new export opportunities, protecting UK food standards and removing market access barriers.

“We’ve maintained the £2.4 billion annual farming budget and recently set out the biggest ever package of grants which supports farmers to produce food profitably and sustainably.

“We are also looking at ways to further improve fairness in the supply chain, and have launched a consultation to make food labelling fairer, supporting British farmers and growers and ensuring high-quality British produce get the recognition they deserve.”

Tractors on their way to London from Kent earlier today
Tractors on their way to London from Kent earlier today. Picture: Alamy

But farmers say they are not receiving enough support from the government.

Farmers are calling for an end to an end to trade deals which they claim allow is allowing sub-standard food to be imported into the UK.

As a result, British farmers claim they have been undercut.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

A boy, 8, was killed in the incident.

Boy, 8, dies after crash on quiet Wiltshire cul-de-sac

Five of the six victims from the stabbing have been named.

Victims of Sydney stabbings named as heartbroken tributes flood in following attack by knifeman who killed six

The Israeli Iron Dome air defence system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran

Israel hails ‘success’ in blocking Iran’s unprecedented attack

Rishi Sunak confirmed a number of Iranian drones attacking Israel were shot down by RAF jets.

RAF jets shot down ‘a number’ of Iranian drones attacking Israel, Rishi Sunak says

A demonstrator waves Iranian and Palestinian flags during an anti-Israeli gathering at the Felestin (Palestine) Square in Tehran, Iran

What is the fallout from Iran’s attack on Israel?

Disability advocate Charlotte Anderson advises people on how to apply for PIP.

YouTuber who fills out PIP applications for £650 each says she has ‘only ever lost one claim in six years’

Planning documents show the owners of the pub want to rebuild it in a new location.

Owners of Crooked House agree to rebuild ‘Britain’s wonkiest pub’ - providing it's in a new location

Joe Biden has reaffirmed the US's commitment to defending Israel's security.

Biden reaffirms ‘ironclad support' of Israel as he plans G7 meeting to coordinate ‘diplomatic response to Iran attack’

The IDF said over 300 weapons were fired by Iran.

‘Together we will win’: Netanyahu vows to fight off attacks from Iran after over 300 drones and missiles fired at Israel

Israeli's military have fought off a massive Iranian drone and missile attack - downing more than 200 weapons launched by the hostile state with the help of ace RAF pilots.

Israel fights off massive Iran attack - downing over 200 missiles and drones with help of RAF

Plans have been drawn up for an evacuation of Brits from the Middle East. Defence Secretary Grant Shapps (l) and protesters outside the British Embassy in Tehran (r)

Brits living in the Middle East could be rescued by the Royal Marines in 'Dunkirk-style' evacuation

The knifeman who killed six people in a rampage at a Sydney shopping centre has been named as 40-year-old Joel Cauchi (left)

Pictured: Sydney knifeman, 40, who killed six people before being shot dead by brave policewoman

Iranian drones and missiles have arrived in Israel with explosions in the skies - as officials warn of a "significant response" to the massive attack.

Explosions in skies and sirens across Jerusalem amid Iranian attack - as Israel warns of 'significant response'

USS Bataan which is heading to the Eastern Mediterranean (main) and Joe Biden (r)

US sends amphibious warship and 2,500 Marines into the Eastern Mediterranean after Iran attacks Israel

US and UK forces are helping defend Israel from Iranian drones and missiles after a massive attack was launched.

British and American jets 'shoot down Iranian drones' as Rishi Sunak slams Iran for 'reckless' attack against Israel

President Biden is holding an emergency national security meeting as the US prepares its response to Iran's drone and missile attack on Israel.

President Biden holds high-stakes emergency meeting as Iran launches full-scale attack on Israel