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The West Country at Westminster: Lib Dem leadership debate special edition

Credit: ITV News

See Ian Axton grill the two Lib Dems battling to replace Nick Clegg in the wake of the party's spectacular collapse in the general election - Tim Farron and Norman Lamb.

Questions come in from Lib Dems around our region, but surely the main one is, where does the party go from here?

Devon MP calls for Caffe Nero to show some "muscle"

Caffe Nero have stopped buying milk from dairy farmers in the badger cull zone Credit: Dave Thompson/PA

A Devon MP is calling on Caffe Nero not to give in to threats from animal rights activists over the badger cull.

The chain has stopped buying milk from dairy farmers in the badger cull zone in Somerset following threats to employees and property. Tiverton and Honiton MP Neil Parish, warns that giving in could encourage more intimidation in future.

These farmers have had a real struggle to rid themselves of TB and it's part of government policy and they should not be targeted in this way. And I just want Caffe Nero to show some muscle - to actually stand up to people rather than cave in.

– Neil Parish MP, Conservative, Tiverton and Honiton

Caffe Nero says badger cull milk boycott is about staff safety

The badger cull is strongly supported by farmers but controversial among animal rights activists. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Caffe Nero has defended its boycott of milk from badger cull areas as necessary to protect its staff.

In a statement the coffee chain insisted it was not bowing to intimidation, but that it had to act when staff well-being was threatened.

With just 2% of our annual milk supply impacted, we made what we feel was the right choice ... We are not intimidated by protestors in spite of their ongoing and upsetting efforts to threaten our business. At the end of the day, we know that the authorities will support us if needed. However, we made a decision to limit any risk to our people as quickly as possible.

– Caffe Nero statement

Animal rights activists told Caffe Nero they would protest if the coffee chain continued to use milk from badger cull areas.

Dairy farmers in Gloucestershire and Somerset have criticised activists for their tactics, and talked of boycotting the coffee chain for its decision. Caffe Nero says it has discussed its reasons with the National Farmers' Union.

West Country MP criticises Caffe Nero's badger cull stance

The badger cull is strongly supported by farmers but controversial among animal rights activists. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A West Country MP is criticising Caffe Nero's decision to stop using milk that has come from farms in badger cull zones in Gloucestershire and Somerset.

With two big milk producers in his constituency Ian Liddell-Grainger says the coffee shop's decision will put jobs at risk.

Caffe Nero took the move after anti-cull protesters threatened to boycott the cafe unless the company refused to the use the milk.

I have a lot of farmers in my constituency. I have superb dairymen, superb cattle, wonderful milk. Don't boycott British milk to put British jobs at risk because you've got some petty vendetta. Get a job, grow up and stop annoying the police."

– Ian Liddell-Grainger, Conservative MP for Bridgwater & West Somerset


WATCH: The last West Country at Westminster before the election

Ian Axton was back with the last of our political shows - the West Country at Westminster - before the election was on last night.

Guests included Queen legend Brian May - who launched his Common Decency campaign this week.

Joining the Brian May was retiring MP and Labour legend Dawn Primarolo, as well as Martin Horwood, the Lib Dem MP for Cheltenham. Unfortunately just before the programme our Conservative guest told us she was unable to make it due to last minute hold up.

If you missed the programme, or just want to watch it again, then click below!

Afghanistan veterans honoured

Servicemen and women who died during the Afghanistan campaign and veterans have been remembered at a service of commemoration today.

The royal family, civil dignitaries and government leaders all attended the ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral, along with serving personnel, veterans and families.

Warrant Officer Matt Tomlinson is a Royal Marine from Torpoint in Cornwall. He was awarded the Military Cross for saving the lives of colleagues during a fierce firefight in Afghanistan .

The lead vehicle was blown up by an IED and Matt braved incoming rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire to help rescue the seriously injured driver.

Appeal for witnesses after rock concert assault

Police are appealing for witnesses after an altercation at a rock concert at the Plymouth Pavilions.

Officers are investigating after a man, aged in his late 50’s, was pushed to the floor and then kicked to the face and head several times during a 'Royal Blood' show on Friday 27th February.

As a result, the man's eye socket was fractured.

The concert attracted fans from across the South West and Officers are appealing for witnesses, and in particular are keen to speak with two women guests who approached a security guard to report the incident.

Watch the latest West Country at Westminster

Join Ian Axton for this month's "The Westcountry at Westminster". His guests are : Kerry McCarthy, Labour MP for Bristol East, Neil Parish, Conservative MP for Tiverton & Honiton, and Molly Scott Cato - the South West's Green Euro MP.

We're talking leader debates, the future of Somerset's Hinkley C, and the history of women in politics. Did you know there have been fewer female MPs in the last 100 years than the number of male MPs currently sitting in the Commons?

After the studio chat about the government's 'golden share' EDF, who are due to build Hinkley Point C, say the government's share is not a financial stake.

Instead they say it is a voting share which gives it a power of veto over issues deemed to be of national importance. The European Commission knew of it when assessing the deal.

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