George Eustice replaces Richard Benyon at Defra

MP George Eustice has been appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Natural Environment, Water and Rural Affairs at Defra after Richard Benyon stepped down today.

Earlier today, Benyon announced that he would return to the backbench amidst the Government’s cabinet reshuffle.

Writing on his Twitter wall this morning, Benyon said: “On back benches! 3 and half really fun years with much achieved. Really appreciate time working with outstanding Ministers and Officials”.

Hours later, the Prime Minster announced the former Ukip candidate as Benyon’s replacement – an unsurprising move after Cameron appointed Eustice his new adviser on Energy and Climate Change issues in May.

MP for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle since May 2010, Eustice is a member of the Environment and Rural Affairs Select Committee.

Further shuffling within the cabinet saw current Transport Minister Norman Baker appointed Minister of State for the Home Office. Baker’s position will be taken up by Baroness Susan Kramer, the Lib Dem candidate who once ran for London mayor.

Kramer will take on a number of the department’s projects, which include tackling the environmental issues associated with the transport industry, such as low carbon vehicles, alternative fuels and encouraging the use of low impact travel options.

Leigh Stringer

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