Defra permanent secretary Clare Moriarty is to become permanent secretary at the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) at the end of this month, following Philip Rycroft’s retirement.

Ms Moriarty joined Defra in May 2016 after a period running the Rail Executive within the Department of Transport.

“Clare Moriarty is an experienced and highly-effective permanent secretary, who has led Defra with great distinction,” says cabinet secretary and head of the Civil Service Sir Mark Sedwill. “She has a deep understanding of the practical and policy challenges and opportunities of Brexit. I am delighted that Clare will be leading DExEU through the next phase and playing a central role in the entire government effort.”

Tamara Finkelstein, who currently leads on DEFRA’s EU Exit preparations, will act as Defra permanent secretary until a successor is appointed.