Liz Truss has announced her new cabinet following her successful appointment as Prime Minister yesterday, which includes a reshuffle at Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). Former minister for international trade, Ranil Jayawardena, has been announced as the new Defra secretary. He replaces George Eustice, who had been Defra secretary since February 2020.
In his new role Mr Jayawardena will have oversight of farming, environment, water and nature policy but it’s noted that he’s had no previous experience within agriculture, and has consistently voted against measures to prevent climate change.
Mr Jayawardena said:
It is a privilege to serve as environment secretary. From food security and supporting our farmers, to water quality and economic growth for our rural communities, there is much to do. I am looking forward to working with the department and people across Britain to deliver a thriving British food industry, a cleaner environment and maximise the benefits of Brexit.
Mr Jayawardena was first elected as Conservative MP for North East Hampshire in 2015 and had served as minister for international trade under Boris Johnson since May 2020.
Other defra ministers:
- The Rt Hon Lord Goldsmith has kept his role as Minister for the Pacific and the International Environment.
- Steve Double MP has kept his newly appointed role as Parliamentary Under Secreatary of State.
- The Rt Hon Lord Benyon has retained his title as the Minister for Rural Affairs, access to nature and Biosecurity.
- The Rt Hon Mark Spencer MP is now the Minister of State.