Tractors rumbled through the streets of Marlborough today as farmers accused the government of “selling us down the river.”

Local MP Danny Kruger recently voted to reject the House of Lords’ amendment to the Agricultural Bill - which Save British Farming (SBF) say would protect the country from imports with lower animal welfare and food safety standards than the UK’s.

Farmers are concerned that  - unless legislation is introduced in the Agriculture Bill - that jobs could be lost for future generations. 

Nick Bush, who has a farm near Chippenham, said: “Trading standards must be upheld. At the moment, the Government are telling us to do one thing but not upholding their end of the bargain. If we aren’t careful, we’ll be made bankrupt .”

Agricultural merchant Wayne Smith, who lives in Calne, added: “I’ve voted Conservative all my life and this is making me think again.”

The tractor protest, which began at Marlborough Rugby Club, caused a spectacle in the High Street and surrounding streets as people waved and cheered as the convoy passed.

SBF chose to demonstrate in Marlborough following an article in last week’s Mail on Sunday, featuring Prue Leith. The celebrity chef, who is also Mr Kruger’s mother, had “warned of the dangers” of trading away Britain’s high food standards.

The lead tractor in the demonstration today had an image of Mr Kruger and Ms Leith, emblazoned with the words “Mama knows best.”

With a gross output of £330 million and some 6,093 directly employed in agriculture. Wiltshire is the largest producer of wheat, spring barley, total cereals and peas in the South West. 

Today (October 23) Mr Kruger said: “The Government is committed to protecting and promoting British farming and There will be no reduction in our food safety standards - and that goes for imported food too.  

Chlorinated chicken and hormone fed beef are and will remain illegal in the UK. But we have the strictest food production standards in the world, and if we ban all imports made using different techniques we’ll be stopping all imports from anywhere - including European and African imports which are on our shelves today.

“We need to use our trade deals to drive up standards in the US and elsewhere - benefitting the consumer, and our own farmers who will be able to export wonderful Wiltshire produce around the world.”

Meanwhile Liz Webster, founder of SBF and a Wiltshire farmer’s wife, said: “Wiltshire is a county built on agriculture and MPs should be voting to back rural communities, not sell us down the river to see low quality, foreign produce decimate British farming as happened to British coal and steel in the 1980s.”