9 August 2001
Thatcher ex-aide to sharpen up Defra

By FWi staff

A FORMER aide to Margaret Thatcher has been brought in as a “new broom” in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Mark Addison, former chief executive of the Crown Prosecution Service, was taken on a month ago oversee delivery in DEFRA, reports The Independent.

Mr Addison has responsibility for personnel and communications and will act as a bridge between civil servants and Secretary of State Margaret Beckett.

A new post of director-general has been created for him, below that of permanent secretary, in the new department.

The newspaper says Mr Addison will take responsibility for foot-and-mouth in the autumn, following criticism of the departments handling of the crisis.

Mr Addison is a former private secretary to Baroness Thatcher at Downing Street.

It is believed he was brought in with the approval of Downing Street and Sir Richard Wilson, head of the home Civil Service with a brief to modernise.

DEFRA replaced the Ministry of Agriculture, which was accused of being too close to farmers, in the aftermath of the General Election on 7 June.

Agriculture must now jostle for attention alongside food, rural development, animal welfare, wildlife and environmental policy in the new department.

DEFRA ministers have repeatedly signalled that farmers concerns will not be allowed to dominate the departments vision of sustainability for rural Britain.

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