The Prime Minister’s re-shuffle of DEFRA extended to junior ministerial level last week as Lord Bach, Elliot Morley and Jim Knight all left the department.
Jim Knight, who was junior minister responsible for rural affairs and biodiversity, is moved to a junior position at the department for education and skills.
Lord Bach and Elliot Morley, however, were not so fortunate. Lord Bach takes the fall for the debacle surrounding the Single Farm Payment leaving government after less than a year. Elliot Morley also leaves government after nine years at DEFRA as the Prime Minister sought to install a new face to lead the government’s agenda on the environment and regain the initiative from David Cameron and the Conservative Party.
Further to David Miliband’s installation as DEFRA secretary replacing Margaret Beckett who was promoted to Foreign secretary the new faces include Barry Gardiner, MP for Brent North; Ian Pearson, MP for Dudley South; and Baroness Ashton of Upholland.
Ben Bradshaw, the junior DEFRA minister responsible for animal health and welfare, remains at the department.
DEFRA is yet to confirm the portfolios of each of the junior ministers. Details will appear once the portfolios have been assigned.