Thomson Condemns UK Government Lords

Thomson Condemns UK Government Lords "Ignorance" Over Lamb Comments

Published date : 18 January, 2023

Gordon MP Richard Thomson has hit out at a UK Government Minister and a Member of the House of Lords who spoke during a debate on international trade in favour of New Zealand lamb over home-produced lamb.  

Lord Hannan of Kinsclere and the UK Government’s Minister for International Trade, Lord Johnson of Lainston, both stated during a House of Lords debate that New Zealand lamb was “better for the environment” than home-produced lamb. 

Lord Hannan was formerly a Conservative Euro-MP and Lord Johnson only entered the House of Lords in October last year and co-founded Somerset Capital Management with Jacob Rees-Mogg MP and is the son-in-law of a Conservative peer.  He has also donated over quarter of a million pounds to the Conservative Party.  


Commenting, Richard Thomson, MP for Gordon and SNP spokesperson for International Trade said:  

“It is beyond belief that someone who was appointed a matter of weeks ago as a Minister to promote the UK’s and therefore Scotland’s trade interests is standing at the Despatch Box in the House of Lords promoting New Zealand lamb over our own, claiming it is better for the environment.  

“Sheep farmers and lamb producers the length and breadth of Scotland will be utterly appalled that unelected Conservative Lords and a member of the UK Government should run-down home-produced lamb in this way. 

“The Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board stated just a few months ago that welfare standards in the production of New Zealand lamb were lower than those here.  That is a very important consideration when looking at the ethical production methods and desirability of a meat product.  I have no hesitation in saying that Scotch Lamb is up there with the best and shall be writing to the Minister urging him to apologise to Scotland’s sheep farmers and lamb producers for his ignorance.”  




Note to Editors: Extracts from the speeches made by the individuals are reproduced below and the full debate can be found by searching Lords Hansard for:  

Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Bill  

House of Lords Vol 826; debated Monday 9 January 2023  


Lord Hannan of Kinsclere (Conservative): There have been studies of the environmental impact of importing New Zealand lamb. Astonishingly, it turns out that New Zealand lamb eaten in London has a smaller carbon footprint than Welsh lamb eaten in London.    

Lord Johnson of Lainston, Minister for International Trade (Conservative): As my noble friend Lord Hannan pointed out, having a New Zealand lamb chop on your plate in the House of Lords restaurant is better for the environment than having one that comes from another part of the UK.


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