Benyon made the announcement this morning on his twitter wall but Defra has so far not made an official statement at the time of publishing.

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

Benyon was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at Defra on May 14 2010 and is the Conservative MP for Newbury.

He served as Opposition Whip from 2007 to 2009 and as Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 2009 to 2010.

Responding to the news, Conservative MP for South East Cornwall, Sheryll Murray, wrote on Twitter: “So sorry to see Richard Benyon leave Fisheries Minster post. He has served the Industry I love so well and understood the Industry’s needs”.

Shadow environment secretary, Mary Creagh, also reacted on Twitter: “Sorry to see RichardBenyonMP leave Govt Defra team. Hope it’s not a move by Owen Paterson to water down department’s environment enthusiasm”.

Check back on edie to find out who will replace Benyon

Leigh Stringer

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