Theresa Villiers replaces Michael Gove as environment secretary

Written by: Editorial staff | Published:
New environment secretary Theresa Villiers. Image credit: Nikki Powell

Theresa Villiers has replaced Michael Gove as environment secretary following a Cabinet reshuffle.

Newly-appointed prime minister Boris Johnson was quick to make changes to the Cabinet, with Gove becoming chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Gove will now be in charge of advising Johnson on developing and implementing government policy and overseeing the consequences of Brexit.

Villiers served as secretary of state for Northern Ireland between 2012 and 2016[TT1] under David Cameron. She has also served as transport minister from 2010 until 2012 and was elected Conservative MP for Chipping Barnet in 2005.

She joins Defra at a critical time and will oversee the implementation of the Environment (Principles and Governance) Bill, which includes many waste and resources commitments such as extended producer responsibility, a deposit return scheme for England, and changes to household collection systems.

In a public Facebook post she said: “I feel very honoured to have been asked by the prime minister to return to the Cabinet, taking on the role of secretary of state for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. I have championed a number of the issues covered by the department; including animal welfare and improving air quality.”

However, she is a Brexiteer and has argued for a no-deal Brexit, which many fear would be damaging for the UK’s green policies.

Villiers is the sixth person to become environment secretary since 2010.

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