Geoffrey Cox, MP for Torridge and West Devon, has condemned the conduct of HM Revenue and Customs officials who travelled from Plymouth to Hartland in Torridge to “catch out” and fine farmer, John Thorne ￡250 for using his tractor fuelled by red diesel to mow the pitch for his local football club as an unpaid service to the community.
He said: ”I strongly believe this to be a disproportionate and heavy handed action. At most, if action was necessary, a warning would have been sufficient.
“If HMRC’s procedures do not allow for a flexible, proportionate and common sense application of their powers to the circumstances, they should be reviewed immediately. I shall be writing to the Treasury Minister David Gauke MP to request him to look into Mr Thorne’s case.”