As the Tory Party's membership consider who to vote in as the next Prime Minister of the UK, both candidates are keen to be seen to support farmers and the rural economy.

In a letter to the Countryside Alliance’s membership magazine, the two Conservative leadership hopefuls, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, have both pledged to ‘champion the rural way of life’.

The MP for the rural seat Southwest Norfolk, Ms Truss said she wanted to 'unleash the potential of our rural communities' and added: “I want people to fulfil their dreams no matter where they are from. This includes our most rural and isolated communities, which despite the splendour of their settings often face the very specific challenges of poor connectivity, remote public services, higher transport costs and a greater reliance on oil and LPG for heating.

"My defining mission would be to get economic growth back on track by cutting corporation tax, reversing the National Insurance rate rise, simplifying taxes and reliefs, reforming business rates and introducing a moratorium on energy levies," said Ms Truss. "I know that people across the whole of Britain are struggling with rising prices and I am absolutely determined to help them from day one.”

Meanwhile, former Chancellor of the Exchequer Mr Sunak, who is MP for the rural constituency of Richmond in North Yorkshire, said that his mission had 'always been to do things ‘for’ rural communities, not ‘to’ them'.

"I know the cost of living is the number one priority for people at the moment. As Chancellor, I announced £37 billion to help families with their bills – including cutting fuel duty.I also took the decision to allow farmers to continue using red diesel as part of our reforms to rebated fuels."

Specifically on farming, Mr Sunak, who previously served as president of one of Britain’s oldest sheep shows, the Moorcock Show, said: “Farming is part of the DNA of my constituency. Food production and food security have never been so important and I will always back our farmers, to whom we owe so much. They – and our wider rural communities – are part of the solution to the environmental challenges we face, not the problem."

Elsewhere Mrs Truss explicitly backed food production in the UK, stating that she wanted to 'boost our domestic food production, particularly in growth areas like horticulture and seafood – increasing UK food security and enabling us to buy, grow and sell more British food'.

"To do this, I will streamline the inspection regime for UK food producers by removing red tape, reducing costs and having a greater role for earned recognition," said Ms Truss. "Whether it’s the Lakeland Fells or the Norfolk Brecks, our world-famous countryside wouldn’t look the way it does, or support the precious plants, habitats and wildlife, without the efforts of our farmers and land managers.

"That’s why it’s vital that alongside boosting food production, we harness their skills for landscape-scale conservation – using their expertise and common sense. As the Environmental Land Management schemes are rolled out, we must work closely with industry to ensure that farmers are able to access these schemes, and be rewarded for their efforts, while delivering robust environmental outcomes.”