Thérèse Coffey, Defra’s longest continuously serving minister, has moved to become Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, following Amber Rudd’s dramatic resignation last weekend.

Ms Coffey, MP for Suffolk Coastal, was promoted to minister of state at Defra by the incoming Johnson administration in July this year, after three years as Parliamentary undersecretary of state at the department.

Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond in London, moves from the Defra undersecretary role he took on in July to fill the minister of state vacancy. Rebecca Pow, MP for Taunton Deane, joins the DEFRA ministerial team as undersecretary. Ms Pow is a member of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists.

Hogan for EU Trade

Outgoing EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan has been nominated for the EU Trade portfolio for the next European Commission by its incoming president Ursula von der Leyen.
The new Agriculture Commissioner nominee is Janusz Wojciechowski from Poland. A lawyer, Mr Wojciechowski was a member of the Polish Parliament for 10 years before election as an MEP in 2004. He is a former vice-chairman of the European Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs committee.

Irishman Hogan took on the EU Agriculture role in 2014, succeeding Dacian Cioloș from Romania. Before Europe, he was minister for the environment in the Irish government as a member of the Fine Gael party.

Once confirmed, his new post will include oversight of the EU-UK trade negotiations. Mr Hogan spoke against a UK withdrawal before the UK referendum and has frequently criticised the Brexiteers since, warning of the adverse consequences of the UK’s exit from the EU.

Last month he said a no-deal Brexit would create a foul atmosphere between the two parties, with serious consequences for the negotiation of a future trade agreement.