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New Environment Secretary Stimulates Renewed Policy Discussion

The past week has been a hectic time for British politics. The appointment of Boris Johnson as the new Prime Minister, coupled with a substantial cabinet reshuffle has seen Theresa Villiers appointed the new Environment Secretary, replacing the outgoing Michael Gove.

While Mr Gove is credited with the inception and development of the Resources and Waste Strategy, it looks likely that Ms Villiers is set to build upon the work of her predecessor.

Speaking to, she said:

“I feel honoured to have been asked by the Prime Minister to take on the role of Secretary of State for Defra.

“The issues this department deals with are incredibly important and I have championed a number of them, including air quality and animal welfare.

“In the coming weeks I look forward to meeting key stakeholders in the food, farming, fishing and environmental sectors. By working together we can deliver the government’s historic commitment to leave the environment in a better state than we found it and to seize the opportunities offered by Brexit.”

Despite taking up her new position just a week ago, it hasn’t taken Ms Villiers long to get stuck into the role. Just hours after her appointment to the front bench, she faced questions from MPs on an array of topics, ranging from tackling the omnipresent problem of climate change, to the steps the government is taking to tackle litter and plastic pollution.

As well as advancing the Resources and Waste Strategy, Ms Villiers will be tasked with implementing the first Environment Bill for 20 years, which will include commitments to legislate on environmental governance, air quality, biodiversity, water and waste and resource efficiency.

It remains to be seen how Ms Villiers will fare as Environment Secretary, and it is thought that she faces potentially hugely tricky challenges in sectors such as farming post-Brexit, especially if a deal between the UK and the European Union cannot be reached.

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