Jeremy Clarkson has called on the Government to prioritise farming during the next Parliament. The broadcaster, 62, said farmers had been asked to diversify but were being restricted by local authorities.
The former Top Gear host has become an unlikely campaigner for the industry after starring in the Amazon series Clarkson’s Farm, which follows his attempts to grow crops and look after livestock on land he owns in the Cotswolds. The TV presenter bought the farm, called Diddly Squat, in 2008 and initially it was run by a villager. In 2019, Clarkson decided to see if he could run the farm himself.
In a video addressed to No 10 and posted on his social media accounts, Clarkson 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.”
Last week, Clarkson wrote a column for The Sunday Times in which he claimed he had been blocked from selling crayfish at his farm shop.
“You go down to your own lake on a lovely summer’s evening, haul in a net full of delicious morsels and then sell them to passing families as a healthy snack,” he wrote. “Except I can’t do that because this isn’t a free country.”
American crayfish, such as those found on his farm, are classed as non-native and cannot be trapped without consent from the Environment Agency. In May, Clarkson took aim at the “not terribly bright people” who work in planning departments during a discussion about making improvements to his farm.