Defra secretary Villiers sacked in cabinet reshuffle
Defra secretary, Theresa Villiers, has been told to “make way for someone new” as Boris Johnson announces his new cabinet following last December’s general election.
Villiers, alongside business secretary, Andrea Leadsom, who had been responsible for leading the Government’s charge to net-zero, was one of the first to be removed from her post.
Villiers responded to her sacking in a Facebook post, saying: “What the Prime Minister giveth, the Prime Minister taketh away: just over six months ago, I was delighted to be invited by the Prime Minister to return to government after three years on the backbenches. This morning he told me that I need to make way for someone new.
“I am deeply grateful for having been given the opportunity to serve twice at the highest level of Government, first as Northern Ireland Secretary and then as Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. I tackled both roles with passion, commitment, and huge amounts of hard work.”
“I am sad to no longer be part of that team, but they will have my full support as they take forward Boris’ bold agenda…”
Villiers continued: “I have driven forward animal welfare improvements and during my tenure at Defra, this government has made a commitment to end the live export of animals for slaughter. We are also banning imports of trophies hunted from endangered animals.
“I have championed our farmers and secured a five year guarantee from the Chancellor on maintaining the farm support which is so vital to helping them produce the high quality, high welfare food which sustains us. I have spoken out strongly on the importance of ensuring our trade policy does not compromise our high standards of food safety, animal welfare or environmental protection. I remain determined to ensure that our farmers are not undercut by food imports produced to lower welfare standards than ours here in the UK.
“I wish the Prime Minister and his new Cabinet well in the tasks ahead of them. I am sad to no longer be part of that team, but they will have my full support as they take forward Boris’ bold agenda to unite and level up every part of this great country.”
At this moment in time, Boris Johnson has not yet announced his new environment secretary.