New Faces at DEFRA

Hilary Benn may have kept his position as DEFRA secretary in last week’s (3 October) cabinet reshuffle, but the department has still seen some changes.

As expected, Jeff Rooker has stepped down as food and farming minister, while Phil Woolas, Jonathan Shaw and Joan Ruddock have left their posts as junior DEFRA ministers.

They have been replaced by Lord Philip Hunt, Jane Kennedy and Huw Irranca-Davies.

Lord Hunt of King’s Heath will work jointly with the newly-established department of Energy and Climate Change while Jane Kennedy will pick up the food and farming brief vacated by Lord Rooker.

Ms Kennedy has been a member of parliament since 1992, and was the financial secretary to the Treasury. Before that, she resigned from her position in the Department of Health in 2005 over NHS policy. She is a member of the Rambler’s Association.

Huw Irranca-Davies is interested in renewable energy, fair trade, and social justice. In 2007, Huw was promoted to the ministerial position of parliamentary under-secretary of state in the Wales office. His surname, “Irranca:, is from his wife, Joanna, a second-generation Italian.

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