Thérèse Coffey has stepped down from her role as Environment Secretary today (Monday, November 13).

Coffey has been a minister in the UK government since July of 2014.

In a letter to UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Coffey said she considers now to be the right time to “step back from government”.

“In my years of service and different ministerial posts, I am proud to have delivered for people, the planet and prosperity throughout that time,” she said.

“Turning ambition into action and delivery has been the hallmark of my service. I want to thank the many dedicated civil servants, ministers and special advisers who have helped me achieve that.”

Coffey said she was pleased with her accomplishments in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which include publishing the Environmental Improvement Plan and launching the Plan for Water.

“As you know, Defra touches so much of our lives. It is the voice and guardian of nature, food security and our countryside communities,” she said.

“I look forward to supporting you from the backbenches and working together for a Conservative majority at the next election, which I believe to be profoundly in the national interest.”

Sunak’s response

In a response to Coffey, Sunak expressed appreciation for her work during her time as Environment Secretary.

“I want to express my gratitude to you for your years of dedicated ministerial service and your friendship to me personally,” he said.

“As Secretary for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs you have worked hard to deliver for our rural communities.

“You have driven work across government to support the rural economy and taken measures to protect food production ere at home. You have been a consistent champion of better rural broadband.

“Our international leadership on nature is a source of pride to us as a country and you have taken that forward.”