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Countryside Alliance welcomes Andrea Leadsom as Defra Secretary

The Countryside Alliance has today welcomed the appointment of Andrea Leadsom as Secretary of State for Defra.

Mrs Leadsom has been appointed at an extremely important time for the department. As well as many domestic issues to address, there is also the need to ensure that food producers, the environment and rural communities are central to the negotiations to leave the European Union.

During the Conservative leadership campaign, our Chairman, Simon Hart MP, wrote to all candidates with 10 questions of interest to people in the countryside.

In her response, Mrs Leadsom; indicated her support for the current levels of EU agricultural support payments and grants; confirmed that she has "no plans" to change the current arrangements for wildlife management practices, including the list of legal quarry; or change the current levels of environmental protection by Natura 2000 sites or SSSIs.

The Countryside Alliance looks forward to working with Mrs Leadsom to ensure that there is a consistent, evidence based and principled approach to land and wildlife management and a vibrant future for rural communities.

Commenting on her appointment, Countryside Alliance Chief Executive Tim Bonner said: "We very much welcome Mrs Leadsom's appointment. It is good that she has given commitments on broadband provision, rural funding and agricultural support. It is also good to see her commitment to protection of the environment and support for people in the countryside. On the totemic issue of the Hunting Act I am also pleased that Mrs Leadsom supports hunting and country sports in general."

Please click here to see the 10 questions in full

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