Steve Barclay appointed new environment secretary as Coffey quits

The MP for north east Cambridgeshire has become the fifth environment secretary in four years, as Thérèse Coffey quits in Cabinet reshuffle.

Thérèse Coffey has resigned in the midst of a Cabinet reshuffle, following the sacking of Suella Braverman as home secretary.

Braverman was sacked over an unauthorised article she wrote accusing the Met Police of bias in its policing of protests.

Coffey will be succeeded by Steve Barclay, MP for north east Cambridgeshire

In her resignation letter to the prime minister, Coffey wrote: ‘Having been a minister since July 2014, and having served all five Conservative Prime Ministers, I consider it is now the right time to step back from government.’

She added: ‘As you know, Defra touches so much of our lives. It is the voice and guardian of nature, food security and our countryside communities. […]

‘Having a sustainable farming and food sector is critical for our long-term food security, and by listening farmers and making changes, I am confident we can deliver that sustainability and strengthen both our farming and fishing sectors.’

Coffey was appointed environment secretary on 25th October 2022, as part of the Cabinet reshuffle when Rishi Sunak became prime minister.

She was previously secretary of state for health and social care, and for the Department for Work and Pensions. She was also parliamentary under-secretary of state at Defra, and briefly Defra minister of state in 2019.

New environment secretary Steve Barclay has been health minister since October 2022, and held the same role between July and September 2022.

Other previous roles include chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster; minister for the Cabinet Office; and secretary of state for exiting the European Union – as well as roles within the Treasury and Department of Health and Social Care.

He was also Government Whip (Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury) from July 2016 to June 2017.

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