Theresa Villiers appointed as new Defra Secretary

Theresa Villiers, a former Northern Ireland Secretary, has been appointed as the new Defra Secretary in Boris Johnson’s first Cabinet.

After a stint in which he raised Defra’s profile and set out a post-Brexit vision for UK agriculture, Michael Gove has left the Department to take up the role of Cabinet Secretary, including a specific remit for no deal Brexit planning.

Mrs Villiers, a former MEP and MP for Chipping Barnet in London since 2005, was Northern Ireland Secretary between 2012 and 2016. She campaigned strongly for Brexit in 2016.

She has campaigned on animal welfare issues, including supporting CIWF’s campaign to ‘End the cage’ and ending live exports. She is a supporter of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation.

She enters Mr Johnson’s Cabinet as part of the biggest Ministerial shake-up ever during a Government term.

Mrs Villiers said: “I feel honoured to have been asked by the Prime Minister to take on the role of Secretary of State for Defra.
“The issues this department deals with are incredibly important and I have championed a number of them, including air quality and animal welfare.
“In the coming weeks I look forward to meeting key stakeholders in the food, farming, fishing and environmental sectors. By working together we can deliver the Government’s historic commitment to leave the environment in a better state than we found it and to seize the opportunities offered by Brexit.”

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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.