Ranil Jayawardena appointed as Defra Secretary

Ranil Jayawardena appointed as Defra Secretary

Following Liz Truss’ election as leader of the Conservative Party and the new British Prime Minister, Ranil Jayawardena has been appointed as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

New Defra Secretary Ranil Jayawardena MP. Picture credit: Number 10 Downing Street.

Jayawardena takes over the role from George Eustice, who was Defra Secretary of State from February 2020 to September 2022.

Ranil Jayawardena previously served as Minister for International Trade from May 2020 to September 2022.

A spokesperson for the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers [AIMS] Tony Goodger, thanked George Eustice for the time he gave and said how he looks forward to “early engagement” with Ranil Jayawardena.

Goodger commented: “George Eustice understood our industry and the challenges that our members faced in terms of over burdensome regulation and spiralling costs. We thank him for the time he gave us and wish him well for the future.

“These challenges of course remain for the new Defra Secretary of State, Ranil Jayawardena, and we look forward to early engagement with him and his new ministerial team.”

Liz Truss has reshuffled her cabinet since her recent victory, also appointing MP Jacob Rees-Mogg MP as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and MP Kemi Badenoch as Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade.

Liz Truss held the role of Defra Secretary of State from 2014 to 2016.

Tony Goodger referenced Liz Truss’s comment during her period within the role, of farming and food being “hotbeds of innovation.” He explained how this innovation could “stall unless the challenge of energy prices can be controlled.”

Before serving as a Minister, Ranil Jayawardena was a member of the International Trade, Home Affairs, Procedure and Arms Export Controls Committees.

Goodger referenced Jayawardena’s trade background, and said he has “trust” that Jayawardena will use this knowledge to “unblock the obstacles that currently exist in respect of site approvals for pork exports to China” and “unlock opportunities for our members in other overseas markets.”

He 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 in respect of site approvals for pork exports to China and to further unlock opportunities for our members in other overseas markets.”

Chief executive of the National Pig Association Lizzie Wilson added: “We welcome Ranil Jayawardena to the role and look forward to working with him and his Ministerial team in a number of key policy areas that will be critical to the short-and long-term survival of the British pig industry.”

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