New appointment at Defra, as Zac Goldsmith shares role across three Departments

North Oxfordshire MP and farmer’s daughter Victoria Prentis has been added to the Defra team, following former Farming Minister George Eustice’s promotion to Secretary of State.

Ms Prentis, who was first elected to parliament in 2015 and grew up on the family farm in Aynho, near Banbury, has been appointed as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department. Although she has served as a Parliamentary Private Secretary, this is her first full departmental role.

She said: “As a farmer’s daughter I am thrilled the Prime Minister has offered me the opportunity to join Defra. North Oxfordshire is a rural constituency and I know first-hand how important the rural economy is but also the challenges it faces. I am also passionate about the environment and tackling the threats it faces.”

Zac Goldsmith, now in the House of Lords, retains his role as a Defra Minister, but, in what appears to be an unprecedented situation, he is now sharing it with two other departments – the Foreign Office and the Department for International Development.

Rebecca Pow and Lord Gardiner retain their roles as Parliamentary Under Secretaries of States.

The responsibilities of the new Ministerial team, including how Mr Eustice’s farming brief will be replaced, are yet to be announced.

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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.