Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs, also referred to as the environment secretary, is a secretary of state in the Government of the United Kingdom, with overall responsibility for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The incumbent is a member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom, 15th in the ministerial ranking.[1]

Secretary of State
for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
Official portrait of George Eustice MP.jpg
Incumbent
George Eustice

since 13 February 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
StyleEnvironment Secretary (informal)
The Right Honourable
(within the UK and the Commonwealth)
StatusSecretary of state
Minister of the Crown
AppointerThe Monarch
on advice of the Prime Minister
Formation8 June 2001
First holderMargaret Beckett
Websiteww2.defra.gov.uk

The office holder works alongside the other Defra ministers. The corresponding shadow minister is the shadow secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs.

The incumbent is George Eustice, following his appointment by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in July 2019.

ResponsibilitiesEdit

The secretary of state has three main responsibilities at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to:

  • bear overall responsibility for all departmental issues.
  • lobby for the United Kingdom in other international negotiations on sustainable development and climate change.

List of environment secretariesEdit

Secretaries of State for the Environment (1970–1997)Edit

Secretary of State for the Environment[2]
Portrait Name Term of office Length of term Party Ministry
  Peter Walker
MBE

MP for Worcester
15 October
1970
5 November
1972
2 years and 21 days Conservative Heath
  Geoffrey Rippon
QC

MP for Hexham
5 November
1972
4 March
1974
1 year, 3 months and 27 days Conservative
  Anthony Crosland
MP for Great Grimsby
5 March
1974
8 April
1976
2 years, 1 month and 3 days Labour Wilson
(III & IV)
  Peter Shore
MP for Stepney and Poplar
8 April
1976
4 May
1979
3 years and 26 days Labour Callaghan
  Michael Heseltine
MP for Henley
5 May
1979
6 January
1983
3 years, 8 months and 1 day Conservative Thatcher I
  Tom King
MP for Bridgwater
6 January
1983
11 June
1983
5 months and 5 days Conservative
  Patrick Jenkin
MP for Wanstead and Woodford
11 June
1983
2 September
1985
2 years, 2 months and 22 days Conservative Thatcher II
  Kenneth Baker
MP for Mole Valley
2 September
1985
21 May
1986
8 months and 19 days Conservative
  Nicholas Ridley
MP for Cirencester and Tewkesbury
21 May
1986
24 July
1989
3 years, 2 months and 3 days Conservative
Thatcher III
  Chris Patten
MP for Bath
24 July
1989
28 November
1990
1 year, 4 months and 4 days Conservative
  Michael Heseltine
MP for Henley
28 November
1990
11 April
1992
1 year, 4 months and 14 days Conservative Major I
  Michael Howard
QC

MP for Folkestone and Hythe
11 April
1992
27 May
1993
1 year, 1 month and 16 days Conservative Major II
  John Gummer
MP for Suffolk Coastal
27 May
1993
2 May
1997
3 years, 11 months and 5 days Conservative

Secretaries of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1997–2001)Edit

Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions
Portrait Name Term of office Length of term Party Ministry Ref.
  John Prescott
MP for Kingston upon Hull East
2 May
1997
8 June
2001
4 years, 1 month and 6 days Labour Blair I [3]

Secretaries of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2001–present)Edit

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Portrait Name Term of office Length of term Party Ministry Ref.
  Margaret Beckett
MP for Derby South
8 June
2001
5 May
2006
4 years, 10 months and 27 days Labour Blair II [4]
Blair III
  David Miliband
MP for South Shields
5 May
2006
28 June
2007
1 year, 1 month and 23 days Labour [5]
  Hilary Benn
MP for Leeds Central
28 June
2007
11 May
2010
2 years, 10 months and 13 days Labour Brown [6]
  Caroline Spelman
MP for Meriden
12 May
2010
4 September
2012
2 years, 3 months and 23 days Conservative Cameron–Clegg
(Con.L.D.)
[7]
  Owen Paterson
MP for North Shropshire
4 September
2012
14 July
2014
1 year, 10 months and 10 days Conservative [8]
  Elizabeth Truss
MP for South West Norfolk
15 July
2014
14 July
2016
1 year, 11 months and 29 days Conservative [9]
 
Cameron II
 
  Andrea Leadsom
MP for South Northamptonshire
14 July
2016
11 June
2017
10 months and 28 days Conservative May I [10]
  Michael Gove
MP for Surrey Heath
11 June
2017
24 July
2019
2 years, 1 month and 13 days Conservative May II [11]
  Theresa Villiers
MP for Chipping Barnet
24 July
2019
13 February
2020
6 months and 20 days Conservative Johnson I [12]
Johnson II
  George Eustice
MP for Camborne and Redruth
13 February
2020
Incumbent 1 year, 8 months and 12 days* Conservative

* Incumbent's length of term last updated: 25 October 2021.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Her Majesty's Government: The Cabinet". parliament.uk. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Secretary of State for Environment". Hansard 1803–2005. UK Parliament. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Lord Prescott". UK Parliament. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  5. ^ "Rt Hon David Miliband". UK Parliament. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  6. ^ "Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  9. ^ "Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  10. ^ "Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  11. ^ "Rt Hon Michael Gove MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Theresa Villiers replaces Gove as Defra secretary". Farmers Weekly. Retrieved 25 July 2019.