Jeremy Clarkson slams Oxfordshire County Council's vegan-only plans as 'utter madness'

·3-min read
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Jeremy Clarkson during the
Jeremy Clarkson during the "Clarkson's Farm" photocall, 2021 (Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

Jeremy Clarkson has hit out at the Oxfordshire County Council's plans to ban meat and dairy from its events, branding the move 'utter, utter madness'.

Clarkson, who has a farm in Chadlington, Oxfordshire showed his solidarity to farmers protesting against the proposal in front of the local authority's offices saying he wished he had taken part in the demonstrations.

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He tweeted: "Farmers of Oxfordshire. I wish I'd know [sic] about your protest today.

"I'd have been there like a shot."

The former Top Gear host also linked a news item about the demonstration staged by local farmers at County Hall in Oxford on Tuesday, adding: "Madness. Utter, utter madness."

David Pill, who runs a farm near Wantage, joined the Oxfordshire Food and Farmers Rally in order "to give the freedom of choice for the councillors to choose what they eat".

Jeremy Clarkson at the Memorial Hall in Chadlington, where he held a showdown meeting with local residents over concerns about his Oxfordshire farm shop last September
Jeremy Clarkson at the Memorial Hall in Chadlington, where he held a showdown meeting with local residents over concerns about his Oxfordshire farm shop last September. (PA)

He said: "I think veganism is a choice. We are not telling you to eat meat – of course, that would be wrong – but in the same breath they can't tell their councillors and everyone that they've got to eat a vegan diet.

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"People look up to Oxfordshire County Council, and with this motion in place, it could have a rippling effect later down the line.

"All of us farmers are worried about the effect this will have on us and that is why we are here today."

Oxfordshire County Council intends to provide only vegan food at meetings and events, and to put more plant-based meals on school lunch menus at least two days per week.

The plans, which were passed in December, will "ensure that food provided at all council catered events and meetings is entirely plant-based, preferably using ingredients sourced from local food surplus organisations", according to an official statement.

Kaleb Cooper, Jeremy Clarkson and Lisa Hogan are reunited for 'Clarkson's Farm'. (Amazon Prime Video)
Kaleb Cooper, Jeremy Clarkson and Lisa Hogan are reunited for Clarkson's Farm. (Amazon Prime Video)

Global meat and dairy production was a "significant contributor" to greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation, it continued.

Leader of the council Liz Leffman told the BBC the plans were "about councillors taking a stand and saying we want to make our planet more sustainable, make agriculture more sustainable and we will source that produce locally wherever we can".

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While she declined to comment on The Grand Tour Clarkson's tweet, one of the protest organisers told the broadcaster that the TV host was in fact invited but there had been a miscommunication over his availability.

The plans are set to go before the cabinet of the Labour, Lib Dem and Green coalition council for approval on 15 March.

Watch: Jeremy Clarkson blasts government over farming

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