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Jim Paice

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Sir James Edward Thornton Paice, DL (born 24 April 1949) is a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom. He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for South East Cambridgeshire between 1987 and 2015, when he stood down from parliament. He was the Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 2010–2012 until being removed in the 2012 government reshuffle.

Sir James Paice

Jim Paice MP, Minister for Agriculture.jpg
Minister of State for Agriculture and Food
In office
13 May 2010 – 4 September 2012
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byJim Fitzpatrick
Succeeded byDavid Heath
Shadow Secretary of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
In office
15 March 2004 – 6 May 2005
LeaderMichael Howard
Preceded byJohn Whittingdale
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Member of Parliament
for South East Cambridgeshire
In office
11 June 1987 – 30 March 2015
Preceded byFrancis Pym
Succeeded byLucy Frazer
Personal details
Born (1949-04-24) 24 April 1949 (age 70)
Felixstowe, England
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Ava Patterson
Alma materUniversity of Essex
WebsiteOfficial website

Early and personal lifeEdit

Born in Felixstowe, Suffolk, Paice went to the independent Framlingham College. At the Writtle Agricultural College, he received a National Diploma in Agriculture in 1970.[1] He was a farm manager from 1970–73. From 1973–79, he was a farmer and contractor. From 1979–87, he was Training Manager at Framlingham Management and Training Services. At United Framlingham Farmers Ltd, he was non-executive Director from 1987–89, then Director from 1989–1994. From 1976 until 1987, he was on Suffolk Coastal District Council, becoming the youngest ever chairman in 1983.

Paice married Ava Patterson in 1973. They have two sons.

Parliamentary careerEdit

Paice contested the Caernarfon seat for the Conservatives in the 1979 general election but lost to incumbent Dafydd Wigley of Plaid Cymru. At the 1987 general election he was chosen by the Conservatives to replace their incumbent member of parliament for South East Cambridgeshire, former Foreign Secretary Francis Pym, who was stepping down. Paice won the seat with a majority of 17,502.

At Westminster Paice first served as Secretary of the Backbench Employment Committee from 1988–1989 and of the Backbench Horticulture and Markets Sub-Committee (1988–1989). He was also a member of the Employment Select Committee from 1987 until 1989.

Paice was made a minor member of the government in December 1989 as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of State at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Baroness Trumpington. A year later he became the PPS for John Gummer, who was then the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1990–1993) and later Secretary of State for the Environment (1993–1994). In July 1994 he was promoted to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Employment and served until the Conservative defeat in the 1997 general election.

In opposition, Paice became a spokesman for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1997–2001) and later on Home Affairs (2001–2003). Under the leadership of Michael Howard, he was appointed Shadow Minister for Home, Constitutional and Legal Affairs. From September 2004 until his return to government, he served as Shadow Minister for Agriculture, a post he later took up in government.

After the 2010 general election, Paice was appointed Minister of State for Agriculture and Food at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government. He served until 4 September 2012 when he was removed as part of a cabinet reshuffle.

On 10 July 2012, during an interview with BBC Radio 4's Farming Today, Paice he admitted that he did not know how much a pint of milk cost.[2] Nevertheless, in October 2013 he was appointed chairman of the Glasgow-based First Milk farmers’ cooperative on an annual salary of £125,000, for which it was proposed that he work one day a week.[3] Under Paice’s chairmanship, the co-operative announced in January 2015 that payments to dairy farmers would be deferred by two weeks and that 1.5 pence per litre would be deducted from the payments to pay for “capital investment”.[4][5] It also announced that from February 2015, it would pay its members an average 21.4 pence per litre – 10p per litre less than some major supermarkets criticised for the low levels of their payments to dairy farmers for milk.[6][3]

On 8 March 2013, Paice announced that he would stand down at the next general election.[7]


  1. ^ "Writtle College – Edexcel (BTEC) National Diploma in Agriculture". Archived from the original on 28 December 2010. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
  2. ^ "Dairy farmers 'pushed to brink' with price cuts". BBC News Online. 11 July 2012.
  3. ^ a b ‘Bio-Waste Spreader’ (23 January 2015). "The Agri Brigade". Private Eye. London. p. 15.
  4. ^ Briggs, Ben (8 January 2015). "First Milk will not pay January 12 milk cheque amid cash flow issues". Farmers Guardian. Preston. Archived from the original on 23 January 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  5. ^ Gander, Kashmira (20 January 2015). "How did milk become cheaper than water?". The Independent. London. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  6. ^ "MPs urge action on milk price cuts". BBC News. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  7. ^ "Cambridgeshire MP Sir Jim Paice 'will not stand again'". BBC News Online. 8 March 2013.

External linksEdit

News articles
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Francis Pym
Member of Parliament
for South East Cambridgeshire

Succeeded by
Lucy Frazer
Political offices
Preceded by
John Whittingdale
Shadow Secretary of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
Position abolished
Preceded by
Jim Fitzpatrick
Minister of State for Agriculture and Food
Succeeded by
David Heath