PROTESTERS have gathered outside the office of a county MP as they claim a controversial new bill will lower food standards.

Members of the Herefordshire for Europe group held a small demonstration outside North Herefordshire MP Bill Wiggin's office on Wednesday, July 8, as they backed the Save British Farming campaign.

Mr Wiggin dismissed the claims and said the group has tried to "sow fear and discord amongst the good people" in the area.

Opposed to aspects of the Government's Agriculture Bill, the Herefordshire for Europe group wanted to make people aware Mr Wiggin voted in favour of the bill.

But government ministers said the bill, which replaces the EU food standards and other aspects of farming policy, will maintain EU food standards.

The group's chairman Richard Jones said: "The Government is in negotiation with the EU on a future trade deal and the EU will certainly not agree to lower food standards.

"No deal with the EU will risk the Government adapting existing food standards to lower American standards in order to get an agreement for other sectors."

Hitting back at the protestors, Mr Wiggin said their claims are "completely unfounded".

"I suspect that this has more to do with EU-obsession and those people who have a strong dislike for America than it has to do with food standards," he added.

"Herefordshire for Europe and their social media channels show contempt for farmers and those who voted for Brexit.

"This makes it hard to believe they care about British farming and farmers as they seek to claim.

"All food coming into this country will be required to meet existing import requirements.

"The point they choose to forget is that at the end of the transition period the Withdrawal Act will convert all EU standards into domestic law.

"These include a ban on using artificial growth hormones in both domestic and imported products."

He added: "I back and take part in British farming and I am confident that as we enter the world stage, our Agricultural sector will flourish.

"Herefordshire voted to leave the European Union, the Government was elected overwhelmingly to deliver Brexit. It will do this.

"It is sad to see democracy deniers who seek to destroy future global trade deals but also attempt to get in the way of us securing a mutually beneficial deal with the EU.

"In an attempt to remain relevant, they seek to sow fear and discord amongst the good people of North Herefordshire. Luckily, most see through their charade."