New-look Defra team takes shape with Victoria Prentis appointment

Written by Alistair Driver

North Oxfordshire MP and farmer’s daughter Victoria Prentis has been added to the Defra team, following Farming Minister George Eustice’s promotion to Secretary of State.

Ms Prentis, who was first elected to parliament in 2015, grew up on the family farm in Aynho, near Banbury, has been appointed as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department. Although she has served as a Parliamentary Private Secretary, this is her first full departmental role.

She said: “As a farmer’s daughter I am thrilled the Prime Minister has offered me the opportunity to join Defra. North Oxfordshire is a rural constituency and I know first-hand how important the rural economy is but also the challenges it faces. I am also passionate about the environment and tackling the threats it faces.”

Zac Goldsmith, now in the House of Lords, retains his role as a Defta Minister, but, in what could be an unprecedented move, he is now sharing it with two other departments – the Foreign Office and the Department for International Development.

Rebecca Pow and Lord Gardiner retain their roles as Parliamentary Under Secretaries of State.

The responsibilities of the new Ministerial team, including how Mr Eustice’s farming brief will be replaced, are yet to be announced.

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