Steve Barclay has been appointed as the new Secretary for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs after Thérèse Coffey announced she was stepping down from the role today (Monday, November 13).

President of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), Victoria Vyvyan, welcomed Barclay to his new role and said he must “hit the ground running”.

“We welcome Steve Barclay to his new role and look forward to working closely together at such a crucial time for farming and the rural economy,” she said.

“It is vital Mr Barclay hits the ground running. Environmental Land Management schemes are being rolled out, BPS is being cut, rural communities are being hit hard by the cost of living crisis, and persistently low economic productivity is hampering our businesses and workers.

“Farmers, landowners and rural businesses are dynamic and forward-thinking, helping to feed the nation, create jobs, build homes, fight climate change and look after the environment.”

Vyvyan said, with the right support and ambition, the “full potential” of the countryside can be unlocked.

“With a General Election expected next year, politicians of all colours must grasp that rural voters cannot be taken for granted and votes are up for grabs for those with a robust and ambitious plan for the countryside,” she said.

Steve Barclay

Barclay was previously Secretary of State for Health and Social Care from October 25, 2022 until today, when he stepped into his new role as Environment Secretary.

He held the same role of Secretary of State for Health and Social Care between July 5, 2022 and September 6, 2022.

He was previously appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office between September 15, 2021 and July 2022.

Barclay was previously Chief Secretary to the Treasury from February 13, 2020 to September 15, 2021 and Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union from November 16, 2018 to January 31, 2020.

He was also Minister of State for the Department of Health and Social Care from January to November 2018 and the Economic Secretary to the Treasury from June 2017 to January 2018.