It was one of the most controversial appointments to the Shadow Cabinet, but the Bristol MP who's become Labour's spokesperson on the environment, food and rural affairs, has laughed off claims that, as a vegan, she can't speak about farming and food.

Some people in the farming industry have criticised the fact that she eats no meat, fish or dairy products. She came under fire last week after saying that meat eaters should be treated like smokers, and encourage to quit.

Hear what she had to say in response to a UKIP MEP who said she would have "little in common with the consumers of food"

Kerry McCarthy, MP for Bristol East, was speaking at the party conference as Shadow Environment Secretary.

She may be more than able to speak up for herself, but the Vegan Society has also got behind her appointment:

What is really, desperately needed is a rethink about animal products we're consuming, a rethink about animal agriculture, and we're really hopeful that Kerry's appointment will bring a wider debate about these issues.

Jimmy Pierce, Vegan Society

But the MP has told ITV News that she doesn't just want to be judged on what she chooses to eat: