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More Ministerial changes at Defra

12th Sep 2019 / By Alistair Driver

There have been more changes to the Defra Ministerial team, with Zac Goldsmith rapidly promoted to Minister of State and Somerset MP Rebecca Pow joining the Department.

Defra Ministers

The changes were prompted by the promotion of Therese Coffey to replace Amber Rudd, who dramatically quit as Work and Pensions Secretary over the weekend.

Mr Goldsmith, MP for Richmond, was appointed to Defra by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in July in the junior role of Parliamentary Under Secretary, sharing his duties with the Department for International Development (DFID).

But following Ms Coffey’s departure, he has been promoted to Ministerial status and will sit at the Cabinet, following the exit of Jo Johnson, brother of the Prime Minister, who also quit Government last week. He continues to share his duties with DFID.

Mr Goldsmith, who, along with Mrs Villiers, has previously campaigned against ‘factory farming’, has been given the animal welfare brief among his responsibilities at Defra.

Rebecca Pow, previously a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, joins Defra as a Parliamentary Under Secretary. Ms Pow, MP for Taunton Deane, is also sharing her role with DFID, while her Defra brief is very similar to Mr Goldsmith’s.

Ms Pow said: “Having grown up on a farm and lived and represented a rural area for many years, I have always championed environmental and farming issues. I look forward to continuing this in my new role.”  

The full Defra team:

Theresa Villiers – Secretary of State

George Eustice – Minister

Zac Goldsmith – Minister (role share with DFID)

Rebecca Pow – Parliamentary Under Secretary (role share with DFID)

Lord Gardiner – Parliamentary Under Secretary

The new team is pictured above showing their support for back British Farming Day yesterday (September 11).