A person wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera

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Robert Goodwill, Minister for Agriculture and managing director of Mowthorpe burials company

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From the Scottish Government:

Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing has expressed disappointment at the outcome of fishery negotiations between Norway and the European Union, which have concluded after a third round of talks in Brussels. A significant 50% cut in the North Sea cod quota for 2020 was agreed, reflecting scientific advice on declining numbers. Mr Ewing said: “A cut of this size will be very challenging for Scottish fishing businesses. We recognise the need to manage fish stocks sustainably, necessitating a substantial reduction, but it is regrettable that once again the main burden has fallen on Scotland.”


The UK minister, Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby, seems particularly ill-equipped to represent the Scottish fisheries. His ‘fishing’ constituency is only a tiny part of the wider UK industry (map above) dominated by North-East Scotland. Why was a Tory MP from that area not selected? Did they all refuse?

Perhaps less surprising, Goodwill has a track record of failure and hypocrisy:

The children and families minister Robert Goodwill has been sacked after just six months in the role.Goodwill was appointed last June to replace Edward Timpson, who lost his seat at the election. He was responsible for policy on safeguarding, school disadvantage funding, special educational needs and disabilities and free school meals funding.

Children’s minister Robert Goodwill sacked

In August 2005, Goodwill co-authored a letter to The Spectator with five other newly elected Conservative MPs, criticising the “decadent” nature of British society. In January 2016, the Labour Party unsuccessfully proposed an amendment in Parliament that would have required private landlords to make their homes “fit for human habitation”. According to Parliament’s register of interests, Goodwill was one of 72 Conservative MPs who voted against the amendment who personally derived an income from renting out property.


All things considered, would even Ross Thomson have been a better choice?