Gove takes over at DEFRA
Michael Gove, who was sacked by Theresa May last summer when she took over as Prime Minister, has made a shock return to Government as the PM carried out a post-election reshuffle of her Cabinet. Gove takes over as environment secretary at DEFRA, replacing Andrea Leadsom who has become the new Leader of the Commons.
Mr Gove, the former justice secretary, effectively scuppered the Conservative leadership hopes of Boris Johnson in 2016 by withdrawing his support and announcing his own candidacy. The reshuffle came as George Osborne, the former Tory Chancellor, said that Mrs May was “a dead woman walking” and that her days in Downing Street are numbered.
Gove was a prominent figure in the recent general election campaign and staunchly defended the PM’s position on Brexit. Bringing him back into government so soon is seen by many as a reward for supporting Mrs May and her policies.
One industry observer told Meat Management: “There was widespread opinion in the meat, food and farming sector that Andrea Leadsom would be sacked. In the event she has been moved sideways and remains in government. However, bringing in Michael Gove was a real shock and will be watched very closely by the industry at large. Gove is not known for keeping a steady hand on the tiller and we can expect him to cause ripples in the DEFRA waters. Ministers who get the job at DEFRA are often either on their way up or on their way down. With the appointment of Mr Gove the jury is definitely out.”
The Prime Minister was bullish when asked about the appointment. “I have brought in talent from across the whole of the Conservative Party” she said. “We want a country that works for everyone. That’s about delivering a successful Brexit negotiation and those negotiations start next week.”
At the time of writing there is no news yet in relation to Defra minister George Eustice as to whether he has survived the government reshuffle or not.