Member of Parliament for Meriden since 1997, Spelman has a strong connection with agriculture and the countryside having spent 15 years working in the agriculture industry.

She has international experience, including as deputy director of the International Confederation of European Beet Growers and as a research fellow for the Centre for European Agricultural Studies.

“I am delighted to have been appointed Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,” she said.

“The department is responsible for many of the things that are vital to our quality of life – the food we eat, the air we breathe, and how we manage the land we live on and the seas that surround our shores.

“I will work across government and beyond to respond to the challenges of increasing food production, adapting to climate change, protecting our natural environment and ensuring we live sustainably.”

Commenting on her appointment, Rob Grey, director of campaigns for the Countryside Alliance, said: “Caroline Spelman has a long connection to agricultural issues and could not be better qualified to take on this demanding role.

“She represents a constituency with a strong rural interest and has been consistently supportive on a wide range of countryside issues.

“We wish her the best in her new role and look forward to working closely with her.”