Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 8:00 pm on 3rd February 2020.
The greatest thing about speaking in this debate on agriculture policy is that we are having it at all. The last Agriculture Bill passed by this House was in 1947. That means that no one under the age of 93 has had the chance to elect an MP who could vote on farming policy—until now.
It is a special honour to speak here on behalf of my home constituency, South Cambridgeshire. It is where I grew up, went to school and got married. It has lots of farms, one of which I grew up on. My predecessor, Heidi Allen, represented the constituency with great commitment, great passion—and great political versatility. She was diligent in attending local parish meetings and famous for dancing into the night at local events, and I certainly will not be able to follow in those dancing shoes. We do not agree on everything, but we do agree that it is a fabulous constituency. One resident told me that South Cambs has more Nobel prizes than France and that is a fact too good to check. [Laughter.] It is true—apparently. It is certainly true that just one building, the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, has produced 12 Nobel prize winners itself. We also have the global headquarters of AstraZeneca, one of the biggest drug companies in the world. We have Addenbrooke’s hospital, one of the top hospitals in the country, and one where I had my life saved when I had my appendix out. It has been joined by the newly opened Royal Papworth Hospital, the top heart hospital in the UK. Other MPs have urged Members to visit their constituencies if they want a great day out. My hon. Friends, I urge you to visit my constituency if you want a great heart transplant.