Labour’s Tom Watson backs Carrie Symonds over badger row – The Sun

Labour’s Tom Watson backs Carrie Symonds over badger row – The Sun

January 27, 2020

FORMER deputy Labour leader Tom Watson rushed to the PM's girlfriend's defence over a decision to stop badger culling in one county.

Mr Watson cheered on Carrie Symonds for voicing her concerns over badger culling to Boris Johnson after the court said it would look into her influence over the PM.

Mr Watson lept to Ms Symonds defence in a tweet, saying it would be "ridiculous" for her not to share her opinions with the PM.

He said: "Well good on Carrie Symonds' for having opinions. It's quite ridiculous to expect her not to share them with her partner".

Farmers in Derbyshire claim they were improperly denied a licence to cull badgers, because of Ms Symonds' influence on Mr Johnson.

Ms Symonds, an animal rights activist and patron of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, has been a fierce critic of the cull.

The High Court will launch a judicial review into the decision to stop culling in Derbyshire after the farmers union, the NFU, made a complaint against Ms Symonds influence.

Ms Symonds had a meeting in Downing Street with Dominic Dyer, head of the Badger Trust, and fellow critic of the cull, three weeks before a decision to scrap the cull in Derbyshire.

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers told Farmers Guardian that she was not given directions from Downing street but a "conversation took place" about the culling.

The badger cull began in 2013 to try and protect cattle from tuberculosis, and since then more than 100,000 have been shot.

In Derbyshire, badgers are vaccinated for TB.

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