Credo: Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones

Farmer and Conservative Party candidate, 51
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The Independent Online

I believe...

My feel for the land came from looking after our allotment in Birmingham when I was young. We lived in Small Heath, a real concrete jungle. The allotment was an oasis from the misery of my surroundings.

My parents, who came here from Jamaica, would be proud of me. They would never have dreamt that in a relatively short period of time a black immigrant could own a farm and be successful.

You have a much greater sense of belonging when you have a farm. If you’re an immigrant, it’s really good to have something that is tangibly yours.

I am a farmer first and foremost. I came to politics only about five years ago. I’m standing to be the Conservative Party candidate for Chippenham. My key interest is the gap between rural and urban Britain. More needs to be done to connect the two communities.

Ten years ago, if you were a black Tory, people thought you were mad, sad or bad, as they couldn’t see how the two things went together. To leave your country of birth to better your life shows great personal responsibility and a lack of dependence on the state. These are Conservative principles.

The challenge for the black community is to reconnect with the spirit of our forefathers. We are not victims and we shouldn’t feel owed. It is for us to go out and make the opportunities rather than wait for the opportunities to be offered.

You need to have different types of people in politics from those who have gone to university, worked for an MP as a researcher and don’t have any real experience of life. I think we have a real problem in Parliament in that we have too many MPs without experience.

Not very much was really expected of someone like me. I left school without any qualifications, had a difficult upbringing, struggled to do things in life. I feel very lucky to have achieved the things I have done.

www.theblackfarmer.com

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