Farming News - George Eustice appointed environment secretary in Boris Johnson's Cabinet reshuffle

George Eustice appointed environment secretary in Boris Johnson's Cabinet reshuffle

13 Feb 2020
Frontdesk / Finance

The longstanding Brexiteer who represents Camborne, Redruth and Hayle has been a minister in the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Cornwall MP George Eustice has been given a top job in Boris Johnson's Cabinet reshuffle.

As heads roll this morning, the Conservative minister with the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) was said to be getting promoted. The long-time Brexiteer was expected to be named environment secretary after Johnson sacked Theresa Villiers to "make way for someone new", according to The Times.

Mr Eustice, 48, who increased his majority in his seat he has held since 2010 at the General Election in December, was a member of the Environment and Rural Affairs Select Committee. In 2013 he was appointed on to the Downing Street Policy Board, with responsibility for energy and the environment, food and rural affairs. He was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at Defra.

He was most recently minister of state, with responsibility for agriculture, fisheries and food. He had been given back his former role as agriculture minister by Mr Johnson in July after leaving the post in February over Brexit concerns.

The office of the Prime Minister has now confirmed that Mr Eustice has been appointed secretary of state for Defra. He is the first Cornish MP to serve in the Cabinet for almost 40 years.

Indutry has reacted positively to the news:

CLA President Mark Bridgeman:

“We warmly welcome Mr George Eustice to his role at this pivotal time for British agriculture.  As a long-standing Farming Minister, he will know the scale of the challenge ahead.  We will work closely with him to help achieve the full potential of the rural economy.”

Ian Wright CBE, Chief Executive, Food and Drink Federation:

“I congratulate George Eustice on his elevation to Secretary of State. George has been a fantastic advocate for the UK’s food and drink manufacturers. We are pleased he will bring a deep understanding of the sector and our priorities to the role. The FDF and our members look forward to continuing our close work together to maximise the industry’s potential through trade, exporting, skills and sustainable growth.”

Minette Batters NFU:

“British farming is among the best in the world at producing safe, traceable and nutritious food and I look forward to working with the new Secretary of State to position British food and farming as a global leader in sustainable, high quality, climate-friendly food.

NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker:
"NSA welcomes Mr Eustice to this new role and we hope to continue our strong working relationship with him as agricultural policy evolves in the future as we enter into new farming support schemes and trade arrangemen