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Steve Reed confirmed as DEFRA secretary

Following Labour’s victory after 14 years of a Conservative Government at Number 10, the Prime Minister, Keir Starmer, has appointed Steve Reed MP as Secretary of State for Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, a role he has shadowed since September 2023.

Following the appointment, Tim Bonner, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance said:

“I would like to extend my congratulations to Steve Reed and wish him every success in his role. From tackling rural crime; championing farmers and producers; recognising the role of wildlife management and the value of trail hunting, shooting and fishing; and delivering a connected countryside, the issues facing the new DEFRA team are complex and broad. Both Steve Reed and the Prime Minister, Keir Starmer, have talked about respecting the countryside and have acknowledged their own party's past failings when approaching our rural community. Time will tell if these words are put into action, but the Countryside Alliance stands willing and ready to work with the Government to achieve results for the countryside.” 

Read our full response to the new Labour government here.

Having previously served as Shadow Justice Secretary, Steve Reed has been the MP for Croydon North, now the newly created seat of Streatham and Croydon North. Previously he served as Leader of Lambeth Council, having represented the Brixton Hill ward, and was deputy leader of Labour Local Government. He was awarded the OBE for services to local government in 2013. In 2016, serving as a shadow local government minister, he was part of the wave of resignations in protest at the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. Prior to entering politics, his professional background was in educational publishing.

With a change of governing party and the arrival of so many new MPs, this period of transition is all the more significant. Find out what will happen over the next few weeks.

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