Election Special: Parties go head-to-head in HW

With less than a week to go until the closest election in decades, Horticulture Week has put key questions on the issues affecting our industry to the people fighting for the power to represent it.

See our coverage in tomorrow's Horticulture Week for insight into how the industry might be governed for the next five years and reveal key policy differences between the main parties.

The responses from minister for the environment food and rural affairs Hilary Benn on behalf of Labour highlight work on food security and research and development.

The Conservative Party's responses were provided by Nick Herbert, prospective MP for Arundel and South Downs.

Prior to the campaign he served as shadow minister for the environment food and rural affairs and he is hotly tipped to lead the same department should his party win the election on 6 May.

The Liberal Democrats were unable to respond to the questions in time - an indication of their newfound popularity - but the party's rural manifesto highlights some of their key proposals affecting horticulture.

Wide ranging cuts to the Defra budget seem inevitable in the next Parliament, whoever takes office. But while none of the main parties has spelt out precisely where the axe will fall for horticulture, some are more explicit than others.

Read more in tomorrow's issue and online.

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