The new Prime Minister Liz Truss has continued her minister cabinet overhaul with the sacking of Defra Secretary George Eustice; who will be replaced by Ranil Jayawardena, the MP for North East Hampshire.
Mr Jayawardena, 36, was elected as the Conservative MP for North East Hampshire in 2015 and, since May 2020, served as the minister for International Trade under Boris Johnson. He was also previously a member of the International Trade, Home Affairs, Procedure, and Arms Export Controls Committees, and has commercial experience in the pharmaceutical, construction, transport and leisure sectors.
In his International Trade minister role, Mr Jayawardena contributed to the development of the UK trade deals with Australia and New Zealand, deals which were widely criticised for granting broad UK market access to Australian and New Zealand farmers, but limited overseas market access for UK farmers.
On twitter, Mr Jayawardena called his new appointment ‘a privilege’, before adding that there is ‘much to do’ in his role: “From food security and backing British farmers, to water security and growing our rural economy.”
His initial tweet as Environment Secretary also featured a video of Mr Jayawardena engaging with farmers, to demonstrate his ‘backing’ of British farming. The video can be viewed HERE.