In Pictures: Prime Minister sips cider and discusses baking trays at North Devon Show

David Cameron at the North Devon Show on Wednesday

David Cameron at the North Devon Show on Wednesday - Credit: Archant

The Prime Minister and Environment Secretary tested samples of cider and local produce as they browsed the show’s offerings.

North Devon Show 2013

North Devon Show 2013 - Credit: Archant

PRIME Minister David Cameron has spent the morning talking to stallholders and visitors to the North Devon Show today (Wednesday).

David Cameron at the North Devon Show on Wednesday

David Cameron at the North Devon Show on Wednesday - Credit: Archant

Mr Cameron, accompanied by Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, arrived at the Umberleigh Barton showground shortly after 9am and was given a tour of the food tent and livestock area before speaking to members of the press.

He said that the Conservative Party had always stood up for rural affairs.

“I’ve had some good conversations with the NFU and they’ve raised some important questions about costs and regulations in farming which I will take away and look at,” he said.

“We’ve got to encourage young people in the farming community to take up apprenticeships.”

The Prime Minister was also in North Devon to support Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Peter Heaton-Jones, who hopes to oust long-standing Liberal Democrat Nick Harvey in the 2015 general election.

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The Tories have identified North Devon as one of 40 marginal constituencies, 10 of which are in the South West.

Speaking to reporters today, Mr Cameron said he had ‘every confidence’ that Peter Heaton-Jones was the man to win North Devon for the Tories at the next election.

While at the show, Mr Cameron stopped at the Hancock’s Devon Cider of South Molton stall and chatted to owner Helen Hancock.

“He asked about the cider, whether they were local apples, if we were a local business and how much we made,” said Helen.

Mr Cameron also tried a sample of the Hancock’s Scrumpy Dry.

“He was very interested and I think he is interested in the local businesses,” added Helen.

At one point, David Cameron and Owen Paterson admired the baking tins at one stand.

“So these are non-stick?”, remarked the Prime Minister.

Mr Cameron also bought some red pepper and chilli relish and tried the chipotle chilli paste made in Ilfracombe by Handmade By Moo.

He also stopped by the Okehampton-based Hallwood Fresh Veg and Farm Shop stall, who posted the following on Facebook: “I know its Ruth’s birthday on Friday but it was nice of David Cameron to come and talk to her at the North Devon Show today, made her day.

“Hopefully she has given him a few pointers on sorting the country out, best tip was for the govt to keep the sun turned on – people tend to spend money then.”

George Hollywood, who owns Georgie Porgies Puddings, said: “It was good to see David Cameron here, sadly he didn’t try any of my puddings though. He said he had already had so many samples. He also said it was a little early for Christmas puddings.”

Mr Cameron left the show shortly before lunch to head to Barnstaple for a private briefing with local Conservative Party members.

Show president Mike Wright has taken on the role he should have had in 2012 before the event was rained off.

He said: “The weather has been tremendous and we were also honoured to have the Prime Minister and Secretary of State here.

“I’ve been around the show, everybody seems very happy. Livestock entries are down a fraction this year, but the quality is brilliant in both sheep and cattle.

“I think all that is good in North Devon has come together in one day. My thanks to all the volunteers that have made the show a success - without them it could not take place.”

The North Devon Gazette is live blogging from the 47th annual show all day – to follow the action as it happens with photos and videos from the event, click on the link at the top right of this page.

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