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    Shapps appointed BEIS secretary; Coffey returns to Defra

    (Photo by Ben Stansall - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

    Grant Shapps has been appointed as the new secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) in the government of prime minister Rishi Sunak while Thérèse Coffey is the new Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) after a cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday (25). 

    Shapps was appointed Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. An MP since 2015, Shapps has help Ministerial roles in the Department for International Development and Department for Transport (Dft). 

    The 54-year-old politician had been interior minister since last Wednesday, and previously had served as transport minister under former prime minister Boris Johnson among other jobs in government, including chair of the Conservative Party. 

    Coffey, on the other hand, had served as a Defra Minister from 2016 to 2019, held the dual roles as Health Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister during Liz Truss’s brief stint as Prime Minister. She replaces Ranil Jayawardena who has left the government after an equally brief stint as Defra Secretary, during which he hinted at a review of some the Department’s key post-Brexit policies and its general direction, particularly as far as the environment is concerned. 

    NFU President Minette Batters said congratulated Coffey on her appointment and thanked Ranil Jayawardena for his work during his term at Defra. 

    “This is a crucial time for the country and I look forward to discussing some of the solutions British farming can bring to the table when it comes to growing our economy by producing more climate-friendly food for markets at home and overseas.

    “British food and farming are currently worth more than £100 billion to the nation’s economy and has the potential to deliver so much more, in particular in our fight against climate change,” she said. 

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