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Zac Goldsmith to continue Defra role after peerage confirmed

20th Dec 2019 / By Alistair Driver

Zac Goldsmith will continue as a Defra Minister, despite losing his Richmond seat for a second time, after Boris Johnson gave him a seat in the House of Lords. 

Zac Goldsmith and TVThe environmentalist was defeated by the Liberal Democrat by nearly 8,000 votes in last Thursday's election, in one of the black spots on an otherwise triumphant night for the Conservatives. 

But as had been widely expected, the Government confirmed on Thursday that he would be moving into the House of Lords and continuing in his dual roles as a minister at Defra and the Department for International Development. He will continue to sit in Cabinet meetings. 

“The Queen has been pleased to signify her intention of conferring a peerage of the United Kingdom for life on Zac Goldsmith,” the Government said. 

Mr Goldsmith, the son of billionaire businessman James Goldsmith, is a close friend of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his partner, Carrie Symonds. 

Like Theresa Villiers, who continues in her role as Defra Secretary, Mr Goldsmith has actively campaigned on animal welfare issues, including supporting CIWF's 'End the Cage Age' campaign (pictured).

The full Defra team is: 

  • Theresa Villiers – Secretary of State 
  • George Eustice – Minister of State
  • Zac Goldsmith – Minister of State
  • Rebecca Pow – Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
  • Lord Gardiner of Kimble – Parliamentary Under Secretary of State 

A Ministerial reshuffle is expected in February, after our planned exit from the EU on January 31.