George Eustice returns to Defra

George Eustice has returned to Defra after quitting his Ministerial role at the Department earlier this year in protest at the Government’s Brexit policy.

As Boris Johnson completed his first set of Ministerial appointments Mr Eustice replaced Robert Goodwill after his brief spell in the post. In fact, the team that will serve under new Defra Secretary Theresa Villiers has a familiar look – Thérèse  Coffey,  who is promoted to Minister of State, Lord Gardiner and David Rutley all continue at the Department.

The Cornish MP first became a Defra Minister in 2015, going to serve for four years a record for the Department. He was the leading figure in the Leave farming campaign prior to the 2016 EU Referendum, arguing that farmers would be better off freed from the grip of Brussels regulation.

When he resigned in February, ahead of the UK’s planned March 31 departure from the EU, Mr Eustice said he was doing so with ‘tremendous sadness’ because he wanted to be ‘free to participate in the critical debate that will take place in the weeks ahead’.

In his resignation letter, he said he feared Prime Minister Theresa May’s offer of votes on delaying Brexit could lead to the ‘final humiliation of our country’.

Mr Eustice’s family run a herd of South Devon cattle and the country’s oldest herd of the rare breed of pig, the British Lop. Mr Eustice recently launched a new initiative on his farm to preserve the British Lop.

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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.