Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs


The secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs, also referred to as the environment secretary, is a British secretary of state position, in charge of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the successor to the positions of Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions.

Secretary of State
for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Incumbent
George Eustice

since 13 February 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
StyleEnvironment Secretary (informal)
The Right Honourable
(within the UK and the Commonwealth)
StatusSecretary of state
Minister of the Crown
AppointerThe Monarch
on advice of the Prime Minister
Formation8 June 2001
First holderMargaret Beckett
Websiteww2.defra.gov.uk

As of February 2020, the secretary of state is George Eustice.

Responsibilities


The secretary of state has three main responsibilities at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to:

  • bear overall responsibility for all departmental issues.
  • lobby for the United Kingdom in other international negotiations on sustainable development and climate change.

List of Environment Secretaries


Secretaries of State for the Environment (1970–1997)

Secretary of State for the Environment[1]
Portrait Name Term of office Length of term Party Ministry
Peter Walker
MBE

MP for Worcester
15 October
1970
5 November
1972
2 years and 21 days Conservative Heath
Geoffrey Rippon
QC

MP for Hexham
5 November
1972
4 March
1974
1 year, 3 months and 27 days Conservative
Anthony Crosland
MP for Great Grimsby
5 March
1974
8 April
1976
2 years, 1 month and 3 days Labour Wilson
(III & IV)
Peter Shore
MP for Stepney and Poplar
8 April
1976
4 May
1979
3 years and 26 days Labour Callaghan
Michael Heseltine
MP for Henley
5 May
1979
6 January
1983
3 years, 8 months and 1 day Conservative Thatcher I
Tom King
MP for Bridgwater
6 January
1983
11 June
1983
5 months and 5 days Conservative
Patrick Jenkin
MP for Wanstead and Woodford
11 June
1983
2 September
1985
2 years, 2 months and 22 days Conservative Thatcher II
Kenneth Baker
MP for Mole Valley
2 September
1985
21 May
1986
8 months and 19 days Conservative
Nicholas Ridley
MP for Cirencester and Tewkesbury
21 May
1986
24 July
1989
3 years, 2 months and 3 days Conservative
Thatcher III
Chris Patten
MP for Bath
24 July
1989
28 November
1990
1 year, 4 months and 4 days Conservative
Michael Heseltine
MP for Henley
28 November
1990
11 April
1992
1 year, 4 months and 14 days Conservative Major I
Michael Howard
QC

MP for Folkestone and Hythe
11 April
1992
27 May
1993
1 year, 1 month and 16 days Conservative Major II
John Gummer
MP for Suffolk Coastal
27 May
1993
2 May
1997
3 years, 11 months and 5 days Conservative

Secretaries of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1997–2001)

Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions
Portrait Name Term of office Length of term Party Ministry Ref.
John Prescott
MP for Kingston upon Hull East
2 May
1997
8 June
2001
4 years, 1 month and 6 days Labour Blair I [2]

Secretaries of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2001–present)

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Portrait Name Term of office Length of term Party Ministry Ref.
Margaret Beckett
MP for Derby South
8 June
2001
5 May
2006
4 years, 10 months and 27 days Labour Blair II [3]
Blair III
David Miliband
MP for South Shields
5 May
2006
28 June
2007
1 year, 1 month and 23 days Labour [4]
Hilary Benn
MP for Leeds Central
28 June
2007
11 May
2010
2 years, 10 months and 13 days Labour Brown [5]
Caroline Spelman
MP for Meriden
12 May
2010
4 September
2012
2 years, 3 months and 23 days Conservative Cameron–Clegg
(Con.L.D.)
[6]
Owen Paterson
MP for North Shropshire
4 September
2012
14 July
2014
1 year, 10 months and 10 days Conservative [7]
Elizabeth Truss
MP for South West Norfolk
15 July
2014
14 July
2016
1 year, 11 months and 29 days Conservative [8]
 
Cameron II
 
Andrea Leadsom
MP for South Northamptonshire
14 July
2016
11 June
2017
10 months and 28 days Conservative May I [9]
Michael Gove
MP for Surrey Heath
11 June
2017
24 July
2019
2 years, 1 month and 13 days Conservative May II [10]
Theresa Villiers
MP for Chipping Barnet
24 July
2019
13 February
2020
6 months and 20 days Conservative Johnson I [11]
Johnson II
George Eustice
MP for Camborne and Redruth
13 February
2020
Incumbent 1 year, 3 months and 21 days* Conservative

* Incumbent's length of term last updated: 3 June 2021.

See also


References


  1. "Secretary of State for Environment". Hansard 1803–2005. UK Parliament. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  2. "Lord Prescott". UK Parliament. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  3. "Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  4. "Rt Hon David Miliband". UK Parliament. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  5. "Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  6. "Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  7. "Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  8. "Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  9. "Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  10. "Rt Hon Michael Gove MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  11. "Theresa Villiers replaces Gove as Defra secretary". Farmers Weekly. Retrieved 25 July 2019.