Following Theresa May’s re-election as Prime Minister a small reshuffle has taken place, see the details below.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
This reshuffle included significant changes at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) with the appointment of a new Secretary of State, Rt Hon Michael Gove, MP. This was a surprise appointment given that Mr Gove had previously been sacked by Theresa May but it could represent an acknowledgment of the challenges that this government department faces in light of Brexit and the need for an experienced politician to be at the helm.
George Eustice MP remains as Minister of State for the Department, with many of the same responsibilities:
- food and farming
- Common Agricultural Policy
- Bovine TB (tuberculosis) policy
- Better regulation
- Science and innovation
Thérèse Coffey MP is Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Environment and Rural Life Opportunities – replacing Rory Stewart MP as the junior minister.
Her role covers:
- natural environment including:
- the marine environment
- international wildlife trafficking
- rural life opportunities, covering rural childcare, education and skills, and health
- floods, water and waterways
- air quality
- waste management
Lord Gardiner of Kimble was also appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity. In this role, he will now represent Defra in the House of Lords on a more formal basis.
His brief includes:
- biosecurity strategy
- commercial projects
- climate change adaptation
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), formally known as Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is tasked with developing a coherent industrial strategy for the UK post-Brexit. The Ornamental Horticulture Roundtable Group submitted a joint response to the consultation that was held in order to feed into the Industrial Strategy.
The key minister of relevance to the horticulture and garden retail industry at BEIS will be Margot James MP, Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility who reports to the Secretary of State Rt Hon Greg Clark MP.
Margot James’ remit includes:
- small business
- retail sector
- consumer and competition
- energy retail markets;
- competition law; and,
- Companies House
- deregulation and regulatory reform
- labour markets including trade union and employment law
- national minimum wage
Department for Education
As part of the wider change across departments, responsibility over further and higher education and skills including apprenticeships, has been transferred to the Department for Education with Anne Milton MP, as Minister for Skills. The Secretary of State for this department is the Rt Hon Justine Greening MP.