New Environment Secretary appointed as part of major reshuffle

CLA welcomes Steve Barclay MP, who replaces Dr Thérèse Coffey at DEFRA
Steve Barclay MP
Official portrait of Steve Barclay MP | | CC BY 3.0

Steve Barclay has been appointed as the new Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Mr Barclay is MP for North East Cambridgeshire and has replaced Dr Thérèse Coffey during a major reshuffle today.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has also appointed former PM David Cameron as foreign secretary, while James Cleverly has replaced Suella Braverman as home secretary.

Country Land and Business Association President Victoria Vyvyan said:

“We welcome Steve Barclay to his new role and look forward to working closely together at such a crucial time for farming and the rural economy.

“It is vital Mr Barclay hits the ground running. Environmental Land Management schemes are being rolled out, BPS is being cut, rural communities are being hit hard by the cost of living crisis, and persistently low economic productivity is hampering our businesses and workers.

“Farmers, landowners and rural businesses are dynamic and forward-thinking, helping to feed the nation, create jobs, build homes, fight climate change and look after the environment. With the right support and ambition the full potential of the countryside can be unlocked.

“With a General Election expected next year, politicians of all colours must grasp that rural voters cannot be taken for granted and votes are up for grabs for those with a robust and ambitious plan for the countryside.”

Mr Barclay was most recently health secretary, and served as the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union from 2018 to 2020.