Cabinet reshuffle means all change at Defra

Last week's cabinet clear out has left Defra with an almost entirely new line up of Ministers, with Ben Bradshaw the only one to escape the change.

David Miliband

David Miliband

As reported by edie last week, David Miliband has taken over from Margaret Beckett as Secretary of State for the department related story).

Defra stalwart Elliot Morley, Lord Bach and Jim Knight are all gone, replaced respectively by Ian Pearson MP, and Baroness Ashton of Upholland and Barry Gardiner MP.

Mr Miliband is expected to outline his plans for the future of the department this week and his appointment has been welcomed by several lobby groups on the fringes of the environmental sector.

The Town and Country Planning Association, for example, has said his experience of sustainable communities while working at the ODPM puts him in good stead in his new role.

Miliband himself has gone on record as saying he is looking forward to taking on such a broad-based department.

"I am very excited to be leading a department whose agenda touches everyone's life - from the local environment in urban and rural areas, from the farm to the consumer, to the future of the planet," he said.

"It is particularly humbling to take on the challenge of climate change, the greatest of global threats. There are no quick answers so it will be through our actions over years that we show our resolve and effectiveness. That is what I intend to do."

Miliband is one of the growing number of parliamentarians who has taken to blogging, and his thoughts can be found on the Defra website.

In his mid 40s he is a relative youngster who claims to be enthusiastic about his new role.

Talking about the reshuffle on his blog, he says: "When the boss says he would "like" you to take on a new challlenge, there is not much of a question involved.

"When it comes to engaging with some of the biggest challenges facing the country, there is only one answer: jump at it."

Sam Bond



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