New Ministerial appointment at Defra

Somerset MP Rebecca Pow has become the latest member of the Defra Ministerial team, while Zac Goldsmith has been handed a rapid promotion.

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.

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, 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.”

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 Mrs Coffey’s departure, he has been promoted to Ministerial status and will sit at the Cabinet table, 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 has previously campaigned against ‘factory farming’, has been given the animal welfare brief among his responsibilities at Defra.

Ms Pow is also sharing her role with DFID, while her Defra brief is very similar to Mr Goldsmith’s.

 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 shared with DFID)

Lord Gardiner – Parliamentary Under Secretary

  • The new team is pictured above showing their support for back British Farming Day  on September 11.

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.