Thérèse Coffey has said she is “delighted to be continuing as Environment Minister”.
Her comments came in the wake of the conclusion of a reshuffle of senior and junior politicians in government by Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday (10 January).
Dr Coffey is MP for Suffolk Coastal and holds the recycling and waste brief among her portfolio at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Her remaining in post is seen as something of a surprise as recycling ministers have often been moved on, often after just a year in the job. However, with a higher level of environmental pressure on government at present, particularly over plastics, the Prime Minister is seen as wanting to ensure stability at Defra, which also Michael Gove remaining as Secretary of State.
The stability in leadership was welcomed by David Palmer-Jones, chief executive of SUEZ recycling and recovery UK.
He said: “It is very reassuring that, in unstable times, we have stability in the leadership of Defra – with both the Secretary of State, Michael Gove, and the Parliamentary Under Secretary, Therese Coffey, remaining at the helm of this vital department.
“This consistency of leadership at Defra is very much welcomed and is crucial if the UK wants to stand any chance of being a future leader in resource-efficiency, sustainability and environmental protection. We have seen recycling and environmental themes capture the attention of the public and policy-makers in recent months and it is important that this momentum is maintained, not squandered.”
Mr Palmer Jones also said that he felt that “Michael Gove and Thérèse Coffey have grasped the potential of the resource management sector”.
Ministerial line up at Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
· Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – Rt Hon Michael Gove MP
· Minister of State – George Eustice MP
· Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Thérèse Coffey MP
· Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Lord Gardiner of Kimble