Leadsom given top environment job in government
Theresa May has chosen Andrea Leadsom as her Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, her first cabinet-level role, following Liz Truss’s move to the Department of Justice.
Mother-of-three Leadsom, who was May’s main challenger for the leadership of the Conservative Party following David Cameron’s resignation, has been given the promotion from her ministerial role at the Department of Energy & Climate Change, which it is rumoured will be abolished and merged with the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.
As Environment Secretary, she will have overall responsibility for the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), with specific responsibilities for EU and international relations and emergency responses.
Leadsom has been MP for South Northamptonshire since the 2010 election and served on the Treasury Select Committee before being appointed to the position of Economic Secretary to the Treasury in April 2014.
Prior to her political career, she spent 25 years in the banking and finance industry, most recently as Head of Corporate Governance and Senior Investment Officer at retail fund manager Invesco Perpetual.
In May last year she was made Energy Minister at DECC, where her brief included electricity and gas markets, new energy infrastructure, oil and gas policy, including shale gas and new nuclear, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and renewables.
Following her appointment, Leadsom admitted that she had been unsure whether climate change was real before taking up her role as at DECC. In October last year, energy site Drill or Drop reported that Leadsom told the All Party Parliamentary Group on Unconventional Gas and Oil: “When I first came to this job one of my two questions was: ‘Is climate change real?’ and the other was ‘Is hydraulic fracturing safe?’ And on both of those questions I am now completely persuaded.”
In addition to being a staunch supporter of fracking, Leadsom was one of the leading campaigners for the Vote Leave campaign during the EU referendum.
More information about Theresa May’s new Cabinet is available in Resource’s previous article.