Villiers returns as Environment Secretary

The General Election on 12 December, which saw Boris Johnson returned as Prime Minister with a large Conservative majority, saw the Defra ministerial team back in office apart from Zac Goldsmith who had responsibility for the international environment.

The key post of Secretary of State for the Environment continues to be held by north London MP Theresa Villiers. Local reports note that the MP said, in her acceptance speech, that the protection of green spaces and fighting climate change would be among her priorities.

There are some expectations that Mr Goldsmith could return to the position via a seat in the House of Lords although this is still to be confirmed and no replacement minister has yet been named.

The Labour Party’s environment line-up was badly hit by its overall loss of seats in the General Election.

Shadow environment secretary Sue Hayman received more than 4,000 fewer votes than Tory candidate Mark Jenkinson in the Workington seat. And, there was more bad news for Labour with Sandy Martin, who had been the party’s shadow waste and recycling minister, losing his seat in Ipswich.

And, the well-known Labour MP, Mary Creagh, lost her Wakefield seat. Mrs Creagh has been chair of the powerful House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee and had vigorously tackled recycling and environmental topics in recent years.

New Labour appointments to the vacant posts are still to be announced.


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