New EFRA chair elected

Sir Robert Goodwill, the Conservative MP for Scarborough and Whitby has been elected as the new chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.

Sir Robert, who briefly served as a Defra Minister in 2019, replaces Neil Parish, who stood down as an MP after admitting to viewing pornography on his phone in the House of Commons.

He was elected by MPs from a shortlist of five candidates with 243 votes out of a total of 474 cast. The other four nominees were Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Neil Hudson, Anthony Mangnall and Derek Thomas.

Under Mr Parish’s stewardship, the committee did a good job of holding the Government to account on a wide range of issues affecting farming, and published a number of helpful reports, including, most recently, on labour shortages on the food and farming industry.

Sir Robert said: “I am delighted to have been elected Chair of this important Committee. I hope my experience as a working farmer and as a former Agriculture Minister will mean I can hit the ground running.”

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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.