Michael Gove takes over at Defra as Leadsom gets the push

Michael Gove has been appointed as Defra’s new secretary of state in Theresa May’s post-election cabinet reshuffle. He has replaced Andrea Leadsom, who was in the post for less than a year.

Gove was sacked from the government last year after May took office. A political heavyweight, Gove is a former Education and Justice Secretary.

He played a prominent role in favour of Brexit  ahead of last year’s EU Referendum, and will play a key role in shaping new policy for UK agriculture outside of the EU.

The MP for Surrey Heath has been a strong advocate for free trade in the past. During the Brexit campaign, he said a vote to leave would be a ‘galvanising, liberating, empowering moment of patriotic renewal’.

Commenting on Twitter, the NFU said: “We look forward to working with Michael Gove at @DefraGovUK Secretary of State. A critical time for the government to #BackBritishFarming”

Ian Wright, director general of the Food and Drink Federation said: “It is a big boost that the Prime Minister has appointed one of the Cabinet’s heaviest hitters to a ministry so significantly at the heart of Brexit.

“We very much look forward to working with Mr Gove and his new team. With them and with friends from NFU and across UK food and drink we will champion the growth of the industry in the exciting months to come.”

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