by Mo Metcalf Fisher

Former Defra minister Thérèse Coffey has been appointed the new Defra Secretary as part of Rishi Sunak's cabinet reshuffle.

The former Health Secretary replaces Ranil Jayawardena, who had been Defra Secretary since the beginning of September.

Thérèse Coffey has had a varied ministerial career stretching back to 2014. She spent three years as a Defra minister between 2016 and 2019 before being promoted to Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

First elected to the rural seat of Suffolk Coastal in 2010, her professional background includes several years working in the food and drink sector.

According to the MP's website, Thérèse has campaigned for better broadband and her ongoing priorities include fairer share of funding, preventing coastal and estuary erosion, off gas grid consumers, rail improvements, agriculture, and improving skills and education.

In a statement, Thérèse Coffey said:  “I am delighted to return to Defra, this time as Secretary of State.

"As the Prime Minister set out, protecting our environment is at heart of our manifesto. I will work closely with rural communities, farmers, industry and the champions of our environment to strengthen our natural environment and support our thriving food and farming sector.

"I look forward to resuming our work to protect nature and deliver a stronger rural economy."

Tim Bonner the Countryside Alliance’s Chief Executive said: "As a rural MP and former DEFRA Minister, Thérèse knows first-hand the issues facing rural communities and understands their priorities.

"The countryside faces huge challenges tackling climate change and biodiversity decline whilst also providing food security in an increasingly volatile world. We look forward to working with Thérèse and the DEFRA team". 

As the reshuffle is currently ongoing, any changes within the current DEFRA ministerial team, will be updated via this page accordingly.

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