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Farming Minister George Eustice promoted to top job at Defra after Villiers sacked

Long-serving Farming Minister George Eustice has been promoted to Defra Secretary after his former boss, Theresa Villiers, was given the sack.

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Farming Minister George Eustice promoted to top job at Defra after Villiers sacked

Mr Eustice’s appointment will provide some continuity for the department as it seeks to implement the radical changes proposed in the Agriculture Bill over the coming years.

 

He has already served as a Defra Minister for over six years and the decision to promote him will likely mean planning for the new Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) can continue with little delay.

 

But Mr Eustice will undoubtedly be keen to leave his own stamp on the brief in other ways.

 

He is known to favour reform of tenancy law, and in an exclusive interview with Farmers Guardian in July last year, he said he wanted to put a stop to non-stun religious slaughter - something his predecessor Ms Villiers had ruled out.


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Some farmers on social media welcomed the news that he was in the running for the job earlier today, describing him as ‘competent’ and saying his experience is required at the top of Defra at this time.

 

 

Others, however, were less supportive of the move.

 

 

Theresa Villiers’ sacking, after just seven months in the job, appeared to be given more widespread approval.

 

Many farmers had in recent weeks been critical of her invisibility since her appointment.

 

Her performance at the Oxford Farming Conference in January, where she refused to open up the political session as convention dictates, was also seen to be weak.

 

In a statement on Facebook, Ms Villiers said she had been told by the Prime Minister to ‘make way for someone new’.

 

 

 

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