‘This is not a free country,’ says Jeremy Clarkson as he calls on government to support agriculture

Jeremy Clarkson called on the government to prioritize agriculture in the next legislature. The broadcaster, 62, said farmers had been urged to diversify but were restricted by local authorities.

The former Top Gear host became an unlikely campaigner for the industry after starring in the Amazon series Clarkson’s Farm, which follows his attempts to grow crops and tend livestock on land he owns in the Cotswolds. The TV presenter bought the farm, called Diddly Squat, in 2008 and it was initially 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: “Hello, I’m Jeremy Clarkson and in the next Parliament I would like to see the government put agriculture first. We are asked us to diversify and when we try to do that, the local authorities tell us that we cannot.

Last week, Clarkson wrote a column for The Sunday Times in which he claimed he had been stopped from selling crayfish at his farm shop.

“You go down to your own lake on a beautiful summer evening, carry 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 it’s not a free country.”

American crayfish, such as those found on his farm, are classed as non-native and cannot be taken without approval from the Environment Agency. In May, Clarkson took aim at “not very bright people” who work in planning departments during a discussion about improvements to his farm.

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