Ranil Jayawardena appointed Environment Secretary

Ranil Jayawardena has been named as the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the first cabinet of the new Prime Minister, Liz Truss.

Ranil Jayawardena was previously Minister for International Trade

MP for East Hampshire, Mr Jayawardena was first elected in 2015 and was previously Minister for International Trade, from May 2020 to September 2022.

He will succeed George Eustice, who backed Rishi Sunak in the Conservative leadership campaign and was replaced yesterday (06 September).

So far, there has been no word on who else will be part of Mr Jayawarderna’s Defra team.

Zac Goldsmith supported Liz Truss and remains on the Defra website as minister of state for Pacific and the environment, while Steve Double, who supported Mr Sunak and previously held the brief for recycling, is still listed as parliamentary under secretary of state.


While Mr Jayawardena’s immediate focus when announcing the role online was about food, Mr Jayawardena has spoken a lot about recycling in the past.

In 2017, he slammed proposals in East Hampshire to switch residual collections from weekly to fortnightly, saying to a local paper that “weekly bin collections are best for local people”. He added that fortnightly collections will “punish families”.

He was also a supporter of government ambitions to reduce plastic by banning a range of single use items in 2020, including stirrers and straws.

The former Minister for International Trade, who has two young daughters, has frequently spoken about the importance of tackling climate change, saying it goes hand in hand with tackling the cost of living crisis.

On his website, he explained: “HM Government is taking the issue of climate change seriously too, and you may be interested to know that we have decarbonised our economy faster than any country in the G20 over the last two decades.

“This is positioning Britain at the forefront of well-paid ‘green jobs’. We should be in no doubt: there is a global race to develop new green technology, kick-start new industries and attract private investment. But I get that bills are going up. Whether energy bills at home, or grocery bills in the shops. By seizing these opportunities we will improve our energy security and help with the cost of living.”


Other appointments of note to sector to the new cabinet include Jacob Rees-Mogg as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. This means he will decide some EfW decisions called in, as well as setting energy policy.

Graham Stuart has been name Minister for Climate Change.

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