Neil Parish elected as EFRA Chair

Neil Parish

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Tiverton and Honiton, Neil Parish, has been elected as Chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee for the 2015 Parliament.

The secret ballot of all MPs closed at 5 p.m. on Wednesday (17 June) with votes counted under an alternative vote system. Parish, who has been a member of the EFRA Committee since 2010, was elected unopposed.

In his new role as Chairman, Parish will be responsible for scrutinising the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and its associated public bodies.

Speaking after being elected, Parish said he was “absolutely delighted” that he had been selected as Chairman of the EFRA Select Committee, adding that the group wants to “make sure that government really delivers, through the Defra department, very, very good policies”.

In a video message posted on the EFRA Committee webpage, Parish added:I am very much looking forward to holding government to account and working with all the parties across Parliament on issues like food security, farm gate prices, broadband, and flooding… [as well as ] many, many issues that will come forward over the next five years.

“I’m also very much looking forward to working with… the public on how [it] would like the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee to really take some action to have a cleaner environment, greater food security and more prosperous farming in this country.”

The remaining members of the committee will be nominated by the House of Commons in the coming weeks.

Parish biography

Originally a farmer in Somerset, Parish was first elected to Parliament after winning the seat for Tiverton and Honiton in 2010, which he still represents.

In the last five years, he has been a member of the EFRA Committee and Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the former Minister of State for Transport, John Hayes MP. He has also been Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Beef and Lamb, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Eggs, Pig and Poultry, and the Dairy All-Party Parliamentary Group, as well as being Chairman of the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare.

Parish has also represented the South West as a Member of the European Parliament, where he was also Conservative Spokesman on Agriculture, Deputy Chief Whip and Chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee.

He is married and has two children and two grandchildren.

Find out more about the EFRA Committee.

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