New Shadow Defra Minister David Drew has promised to give Michael Gove ‘a hard time’, after being promoted in Jeremy Corbyn’s Cabinet reshuffle.
The Stroud MP, who is a vegetarian, said he was looking forward to ‘sparring’ with the Environment Minister as the Government looked to re-write the UK’s agricultural policy.
In an interview with the Gloucestershire Echo, Mr Drew said: “It is a big time to be taking on this role as we are re-writing agricultural policy due to Brexit so we will have to see what we can do.
“The rural economy is so important for our food production so I will be paying close attention to what development we allow in the countryside because it will have to be sensitive to not affect this economy.
“We will give Mr Gove a hard time as much here as we did when he was in education where not everything went to plan for him, so I am looking forward to sparring with him across the chamber.”
Halifax MP Holly Lynch has also been promoted to the role of shadow Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Minister and will take on the floods brief.
Rachael Maskell, who was a shadow Cabinet member as shadow environment secretary before resigning her post to vote against article 50, has returned to the frontbench in a more junior role in transport.
Mr Corbyn said: “I’m delighted to be filling Labour’s shadow front bench with a wealth of talent. Our new shadow ministers will bolster the excellent work of Labour’s shadow cabinet and departmental teams.
“These appointments are further evidence that Labour is not just the opposition – we are the government in waiting.”
The Labour party was heavily criticised by farmers in 2015 when it made vegan Kerry McCarthy shadow Defra Secretary. Ms McCarthy resigned from her post in June 2016 amid a flurry of Cabinet walkouts.
In its General Election manifesto Labour said it would end the badger cull and ban neonicotinoids if it came to power.