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New Defra minister named

Steve Barclay has been named the new environment secretary.

Steve Barclay has replaced Thérèse Coffey as environment secretary following a surprise cabinet reshuffle triggered by the firing of the home secretary Suella Braverman last week.

Mr Barclay, MP for North East Cambridgeshire and former Brexit secretary under Boris Johnson, comes to the role from his position as health secretary, which he had held for just over a year. His appointment was announced following the resignation of Ms Coffey, who said: “Now is the right time to step back from Government.”

Mr Barclay was a staunch Brexiteer and has supported the ‘Back British Farming’ campaign since 2020. He has consistently voted in parliament to see England’s state-owned forests sold off and voted for the continuing of badger culls to combat bovine tuberculosis on several occasions.

BASC said it was delighted to welcome the Cambridge graduate and former lawyer to the role. The organisation’s political affairs manager Jak Abrahams commented: “There are
a range of challenges on the horizon and BASC will engage with Mr Barclay and the Defra team on behalf of our members and the wider shooting and conservation community.”