Andrea Leadsom has been named as the new Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in Theresa may’s new-look cabinet. Leadsom replaces Liz Truss, who was in the role form 2014 and who has moved to become Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor.
Leadsom was, of course, the main challenger to May for the role of Prime Minister, pulling out of contention just a few days ago. She has previously served as Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister and latterly, appointed following the 2015 General Election, as Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change.
She has been a Member of Parliament, representing South Northamptonshire, since 2010. This is her first cabinet role. Rory Stewart remain, at present, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Environment and Rural Affairs.
In addition to the new cabinet roles, May has also overseen a change in departments, with the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) and the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) being scrapped in favour of a new-look Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, which will be led by Greg Clark, who said: “I am thrilled to have been appointed to lead this new department charged with delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy, leading government’s relationship with business, furthering our world-class science base, delivering affordable, clean energy and tackling climate change.”
We expect more industry reaction during the course of the day, but speaking last night David Palmer-Jones, CEO for the recycling and recovery division of SUEZ in the UK, said: “As a long term investor in UK energy and recycling infrastructure SUEZ welcomes any rationalisation of government departments to ensure the creation of more joined up, long-term strategic policy planning at a national level to help us build the power stations, produce the resources and create opportunities for a skilled labour force the country needs. Businesses like ours need clear long term policy guidance from Whitehall so we can continue to plan and invest in infrastructure to help address the country’s rapidly impending energy supply gap as we wean ourselves off fossil fuels.”