A farm inspector from Somerset who tweeted critical comments about the badger cull has now been sacked after the National Farmers' Union (NFU) complained to ministers about her views.
Janice Holland had worked for the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) since 2001, visiting farms to ensure claims for agricultural grants were not being falsified. She made a series of remarks on Twitter suggesting she had serious concerns about animal welfare and that the cull was poorly conceived and executed.
Ms Holland, who has 22 years' service with government farming agencies, referred to Peter Kendall, the union's president, as "Kim Jong Kendall" – a reference to the North Korean leader and a name already in use among anti-badger-cull protesters.
Defra said the NFU was a "stakeholder" of Defra and the RPA, meaning staff should not criticise it in public. Labour MP Barry Sheerman said the sacking was "shameful".