DEFRA secretary ‘to be announced shortly’

Prime Minister David Cameron is set to announce who will to take over as DEFRA secretary in the newly-formed Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition.


Shadow DEFRA secretary Nick Herbert is widely tipped to be handed the job, filling the post left empty by former minister Hilary Benn.


Long-standing Conservative farming spokesman Jim Paice is expected to be given the role of farming minister.


Current Liberal Democrat shadow minister Tim Farron is also expected to be given a role in the department.


Lib Dem MP Chris Huhne, who was previously shadow DEFRA minister, was handed the post of Energy and Climate Secretary earlier on Wednesday (12 May).


Mr Cameron’s appointment as Prime Minister on Tuesday (11 May) after Gordon Brown resigned from the post ended 13 years of a Labour Government.


The Conservatives tried to woo the farming vote ahead of the election by promising a badger cull to tackle bovine TB and vowed to introduce a supermarket ombudsman.


The party also pledged to reduce regulation on farmers, cut the number of quangos and push for reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.


The Lib Dems have also said they would introduce a badger cull and push for CAP reform, using a greater proportion of support to target conservation, climate change and securing food supplies.






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