Steve Barclay has been appointed Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, as part of Rishi Sunak’s cabinet reshuffle. His predecessor Thérèse Coffey announced her resignation shortly after being called into Downing Street for a meeting with the prime minister. She had been in post since 25 October 2022.
Barclay was previously Secretary of State for Health and Social Care between 25 October 2022 and 13 November 2023. He held the same role between 5 July 2022 and 6 September 2022.
He was previously appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office between 15 September 2021 and July 2022.
He is the Conservative MP for North East Cambridgeshire.
The Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS) welcome the appointment of Barclay, and said it was important he tackle some of the big issues facing the meat industry. “Just last week the former Defra lead was in China visiting the Food & Hospitality show in Shanghai,” said Tony Goodger, spokesperson for AIMS. “We wondered whether she’d be able to help open this valuable market for exports of beef, lamb and poultry. It’s now down to him to secure these new business opportunities across the globe and we wish them well.
“It is also essential that the new Secretary of State addresses industry concerns over issues such as access to labour and barriers to overseas market, some of which have been established by the UK Government themselves.”