Labour’s former angling spokesman Martin Salter has welcomed the appointment of Conservative MP Richard Benyon as the new minister for Fisheries and Water in the coalition government that was formed following the recent general election. Mr Salter, who stood down as the MP for Reading West after 13 years of speaking up for angling and the environment in Parliament was a constituency neighbour of Mr Benyon and the two have enjoyed a number of fishing trips together.
Mr Salter said:-
‘There is no better person on the Tory benches to take on the role of Fisheries Minister in this slightly strange coalition government that is now in power. For one thing, Richard is not only an intelligent and reasonable man he is also a keen angler and a committed environmentalist. Secondly, he is not a Liberal Democrat – a party whose support for recreational angling has been at best lukewarm and at worst non-existent!’
‘Although I am obviously disappointed that Labour is no longer in government I have promised Richard my full support as he grapples with issues as diverse and difficult as abstraction, water quality,marine conservation, predation by otters and comorants and the impact of invasive species such as signal crayfish. I urge the angling community to get behind our new guy at DEFRA. For all of us passionate anglers the future of fishing is more important than partisan party politics.’