Environmental select committees take shape as new Shadow minister announced
Neil Parish has been elected as Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee following a three-way battle for the position.
Conservative MP for Tiverton and Honiton Parish, who held the role for the tow years of the last government, beat out Zac Goldsmith and Bill Wiggin, amassing 324 votes from MPs, compared to 107 and 137 for the other two candidates respectively.
Following his re-election Parish said: "I am delighted to have been re-elected as Chair of the EFRA Committee. The coming months are crucial for Defra in preparing for the Brexit negotiations. My committee has a vital role to play.
“I look forward to working with colleagues across the House to hold the government’s feet to the fire on issues such as Brexit preparations, post-Brexit agricultural policy and air quality. I am keen to continue our work listening to the concerns of rural communities and stakeholders in the agricultural and environmental sectors to make sure their voices are heard in Parliament."
Wakefield MP and Resource Hot 100 winner Mary Creagh was unanimously re-elected as Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC).
David Drew given shadow waste brief
Elsewhere in Parliament, Stroud MP David Drew has been given the role of Shadow Farming & Rural Affairs Minister, with a focus on waste and recycling as part of his brief.
Drew will shadow Resources Minister Therese Coffey, with Shadow Environment Secretary Sue Hayman retaining her role on the front bench.
Drew served as MP of the western constituency for 13 years, sitting on the EFRA Committee for nine years, before retiring in 2010. He regained the seat from Conservative Neil Carmichael in June’s snap election.
In the past, Drew has supported opposition to the controversial Javelin Park incinerator being built by Urbaser Balfour Beatty in his constituency of Stroud, backing instead smaller mechanical biological treatment plants that "won’t wreck the landscape and won’t cost the earth."
Following his appointment, Drew said: "I remain totally opposed to Javelin Park and as part of my responsibilities for waste I will be urging movement away from an incinerator as the appropriate form of waste disposal."
Since 2010, Drew has also served as Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Forest Green Rovers, the self-styled ‘greenest football club in the world’, though he left the club following his re-election to the Commons in June. Since 2010 and its takeover by green energy company Ecotricity’s founder Dale Vince Rovers, the club has put sustainability at the forefront of its operations and has taken steps to ensure that its facilities and players are as green as possible.