The Foreign Ministry, meanwhile said that Sri Lanka looks forward to working with Solih and the people of the Maldives in pursuing the elevation of relations between the Maldives and Sri Lanka to greater heights. (Colombo Gazette) Sri Lanka today welcomed the outcome of the elections in the Maldives in which was won by opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.The Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry noted that joint opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih secured victory following the election in the Maldives where the people exercised their franchise in a decisive manner to uphold their commitment to democracy and the rule of law. “We commend the government and the people of the Maldives for the conduct of a successful election process that was free, fair, and peaceful,” the Foreign Ministry said. Meanwhile, the joint opposition also welcomed the outcome of the elections in the Maldives. Joint opposition Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa tweeted saying the outcome of the election was historic.“Congratulations to President- Elect of Maldives @ibusolih on your resounding victory. This is a historic event in the political narrative of our neighbor. We truly wish for success & prosperity for everyone in the #Maldives,” Rajapaksa tweeted.
However, Oliver and his friend Jimmy Doherty took the scheme to task on Channel Four during last week’s edition of Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast. Over film of Red Tractor-reared chickens in a large shed, Doherty said: “Most of these birds never go outside and have little space to move about. Although some barns have natural light, perches and pecking objects this isn’t a requirement.” Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, told farmers that food standards would not fall after Britain leaves the European UnionCredit: Andrew Parsons / i-Images Jamie Oliver, the celebrity chef, has risked opening a battle with Britain’s farmers after he said that he would refuse to eat chicken that has been produced to the “Red Tractor” standard.The restaurateur inflamed countryside opinion by giving his unvarnished opinion on “Red Tractor chicken” to viewers of his weekly cookery programme, saying “I personally would not feed it to my kids”.The comments came as Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, told the National Farmers Union conference this week that food standards would not fall after Britain leaves the European Union.There are fears that after Brexit the UK will sign a trade deal with America to allow cheaper, chlorine-washed chicken to be sold in British supermarkets.Most chickens in the UK are reared to the Red Tractor standard, which the farming industry insists “means your chicken has met these robust and responsible production standards and is traceable back to independently inspected chicken farms in the UK”. The comments received short-shrift from farming leaders. Minette Batters, the president of the NFU, said the scheme “means that we have the highest standards of food safety of environmental protection. The Red Tractor is a mark of food safety.”She pointed out that the scheme helped families on lower incomes buy food confident that it had been created to a high standards. She said: “There are a lot of people on tight budgets and they must not be disadvantaged in all of this. It is about making sure we can provide quality affordable, safe, traceable food to everybody regardless of budgets, regardless of background.” Oliver added: “Chickens are bred to grow fast with a high ratio of meat to bone, but this makes them heavy so they can struggle to walk… I think people would be shocked by the reality of what we are buying.”Doherty asked: “You wouldn’t eat Red Tractor chicken?” Oliver replied: “I personally wouldn’t feed it to my kids.” Doherty then said: “The Red Tractor label does guarantee a consistent basic standard for welfare and hygiene so we know our food comes from a trustworthy and safe source.“But is that minimum standard high enough? If you look at Red Tractor, they deal with welfare but they deal with everything from pesticide use to conservation to health and safety to traceability so having a bottom standard that covers all of British farming for me is really important.”The pair then said that they would rather British chicken was produced to a “higher welfare” standard “with labels such as RSPCA-assured”. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Doherty’s criticism of the Red Tractor scheme marks an about turn. In 2013 he fronted an advert, saying: “Now more than ever it is important to know where all your meat comes from and I think the easiest way to do that is to trust the Tractor.”A spokesman for Doherty said: “Jimmy’s comments on Friday Night Feast clearly state that he believes the Red Tractor Label does guarantee a consistent, trustworthy and safe level of food welfare, traceability and hygiene in the UK. So he does not move from his previous position.“All industries in any sector require basic standards and regulations. That said, Jimmy also believes that these basic standards are just the foundation and should always be improved upon for the good of animal welfare.“That is exactly why Red Tractor already provide guidelines for higher welfare schemes such as free range and organic.” Minette Batters was this week elected president of the National Farmers’ UnionCredit: Mike Kemp