Eustice sacked as new Environment Secretary is announced

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Prime Minister Liz Truss has appointed Ranil Jayawardena as the new Defra Secretary, as she continues to assemble her first ministerial cabinet. 

Mr Jayawardena, the 36-year-old Conservative MP for North East Hampshire, is replacing George Eustice as Defra’s Secretary of State. Mr Jayawardena has previously worked as the minister for International Trade, under Boris Johnson, and as a member of the International Trade, Home Affairs, Procedure, and Arms Export Controls Committees.

In a tweet posted this morning (September 7), Mr Jayawardena said that his new appointment ‘is a privilege’, but that there is ‘much to do’: “From food security and backing British farmers, to water security and growing our rural economy.”

In a second tweet, he added that he had recently met with local farmers from the NFU, where governmental support for British farming and the sector’s potential for export growth was discussed.

The tweets can be seen in full by clicking HERE.

When he was the minister for International Trade, Mr Jayawardena contributed to the development of the UK-Australia and UK-New Zealand trade deals. However, these deals were criticised for failing to provide UK farmers with adequate access to the foreign markets, while the deals were seen to provide Australian and New Zealand farmers with free access to the UK market.

Nonetheless, Tony Goodger of the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS) said: “We trust that Mr Jayawardena will use his understanding of global markets gained from his previous role in International Trade to unblock the obstacles that currently exist and to further unlock opportunities for our members in other overseas markets.”

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Journalist. Graduated from the University of Sussex with a degree in English and Art History. When not working I can be found riding my horses on the Ashdown Forest, reading, shopping, or cooking!