Nick Herbert (pictured) has replaced Peter Ainsworth as Shadow DEFRA Secretary in a Tory front bench reshuffle.

Widely seen as a rising star of the Tory party, Mr Herbert has been MP for Arundel & South Downs since May 2005.

Until his promotion, he was Shadow Secretary of State for Justice. The reshuffle sees Mr Ainsworth returns to the Tory back benches.

Prior to his election to parliament, Mr Herbert was director of Reform, the independent think tank he co-founded in 2002.

His website claims he is passionate about defending rural communities.

In the 1997 election, he stood as Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Berwick Upon Tweed – one of the most rural seats in England.

From 1990 to 1996 he worked for the British Field Sports Society, becoming its director of political affairs.

In this role Mr Herbert played a leading role in setting up the Countryside Movement, which became the Countryside Alliance.

An openly gay MP, he lives in Arundel with his partner Jason Eades, whom he recently “married” in a civil ceremony.

In his spare time he enjoys racing and country sports and watching cricket and rugby.  He also enjoys going to the theatre, cinema and opera.

The reshuffle also marked the return to the Tory front bench of former chancellor Ken Clarke, who becomes Shadow Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Secretary.

Including other changes, Tory leader David Cameron said the party now had the “strongest possible” shadow cabinet to take it forward to the General Election.

“With Ken Clarke’s arrival, we now have the best economic team,” said Mr Cameron.

“With the other changes I have made today, we have combined fresh thinking with experience, hope and change with stability and common sense.”