EXCLUSIVE: Labour’s David Drew, MP for Stroud, has been appointed as a shadow DEFRA minister and is to oversee waste and recycling within his political brief.
Mr Drew, who is one of 20 new MPs to join Labour’s front bench and takes the position of Shadow Farming & Rural Affairs Minister – he has been a Labour MP in the past. He will be shadow to Defra minister Therese Coffey on waste issues.
A second new face to be appointed for Labour is Holly Lynch, MP for Halifax, who becomes Shadow Flooding & Coastal Communities Minister. Ms Lynch will be responsible for marine environment.
Shadow secretary for the environment, and MP for Workington, Sue Hayman, retains her position. It has been confirmed that Ms Hayman is to oversee air quality.
Ms Hayman, who previously oversaw the waste and recycling brief, was originally appointed to the position of secretary for the environment in February 2017, following the resignation of Rachael Maskell. (See letsrecycle.com story)
Mr Drew regained his seat for Stroud, after returning from retirement, which he held for 13 years from 1997 – 2010. The Labour MP received 47% of votes (29,994), 687 ahead of his Conservative rival and with a 5,553 vote swing.
Following the result, he said: “It’s the seventh time I’ve done this, I should retire more often! I never thought I would come back and be a winner, but the people of Stroud have had their chance and had their say.
“I’m not ever in something for the short term, and I’m delighted to go back to Westminster, there is a lot of work I had left unfinished.
“I’m surprised but it is now important to take stock and get some good governance back into the country.”
Support for MBT
In terms of his stance on waste and recycling, the new minister has previously spoken out against the incineration of waste.
In 2013 he supported a campaign by anti-incineration group, Glosvain, over plans for the incinerator (now under construction) at Javelin Park, Haresfield near Gloucester for Gloucestershire county council. Instead, Mr Drew called for smaller mechanical biological treatment plants that he said “won’t wreck the landscape and wont cost the earth.”