Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said the Welsh Government “don’t understand rural Britain” after being quizzed by the County Times on the challenges faced by Montgomeryshire communities.

Speaking exclusively to the County Times ahead of the Welsh Conservative Conference in Llandudno on Friday (February 23), Mr Sunak said the Welsh Government's own assessment of proposals for farm subsidies "will lead to thousands of job losses, a reduction in food production and food security and harm farm incomes".

It follows a go-slow protest of tractors held in Newtown last weekend. More than 1,000 farmers gathered to raise concerns at Welshpool Livestock Market earlier this month.

When asked about struggling living standards in rural communities around Powys, Mr Sunak said: "Farming is the lifeblood of our communities and it’s really important that our farmers feel they’ve got support from the Government.


"They do have support from the UK Government because I passionately care about what they do.

"I think it’s really important for our country that they do what they do because they love it, not because they are paid a fortune, they do it because they take responsibility as stewards of our landscapes seriously and do it for their families have done it for generations.

"All of that is extraordinary and we should be very grateful to them for that."

The Prime Minister also promised people living in Montgomeryshire he would give them "peace of mind that there is a brighter future ahead" saying the economy is turning a corner after a "tough" couple of years, despite the UK having now fallen into a recession.

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Pointing to lower inflation and mortgage rates, a drop in energy bills, and rising wages which he says has helped cut taxes, he said: "We're not out of the woods yet but we're making progress.

“If I pivot to the bigger picture, it’s been a tough couple of years for everyone including people in Montgomeryshire.

“We’ve been through a lot with Covid and the impact of war but at the start of this year I really feel that the economy for me has turned a corner and people feel that.

“We’re not out of the woods yet but we’re making progress, and it shows that the plans which we’ve put in place are working and starting to deliver change.”

At the dispatch box for Prime Minister's Questions, Mr Sunak declared December 6 as Montgomeryshire Day which he told the County Times was a "special moment" for him, Mr Williams and "hopefully for everyone else in Montgomeryshire".

With polls predicting that several Conservative MPs may lose their seats in Wales at the next general election, the new Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr constituency consistently remains blue which Craig Williams is looking to keep as a Tory seat.

Mr Williams has been the Prime Minister's 'eyes and ears' as his Parliamentary Private Secretary since October 2022. Mr Sunak described him as "extraordinary" who he is "very lucky to work with" every day, and plans to visit Montgomeryshire "at some point for sure".

"I think the people of Montgomeryshire are very fortunate to have in Craig an incredible MP who cares deeply about his community and his home and works his socks off for them. I can tell you that because I see Craig every single day of my life.

"I’ve learnt a lot about Montgomeryshire in my time since I’ve had this job. Every Wednesday Craig wears a different tie from somewhere in Montgomeryshire, so I get a new update which is wonderful."