Theresa Villiers appointed as new Defra secretary

The Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers has been appointed Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), as predecessor Michael Gove will instead take charge of the cabinet.

As Secretary of State, Villiers will have overall responsibility for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Her specific responsibilities include departmental administration, handling emergencies, international relations and oversight of Brexit work and post-EU policy programme.

Meanwhile, Michael Gove will now be responsible for overseeing the workings of the cabinet – including its preparations for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit – in his new role as the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

Track record

Theresa Villiers served as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from September 2012 until July 2016. Previously, she served as Minister of State for Transport from May 2010 until September 2012.

Her other political career highlights include:

  • MP for Chipping Barnet from 2005;
  • MEP for London from 1999 to 2005;
  • Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 2005 to 2007;
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Transport from 2007 to 2010.

Theresa was born in 1968 and grew up in St. John’s Wood, north London. She lives in Arkley in Barnet.

She was educated at Francis Holland School in London before studying law at the University of Bristol and Jesus College, Oxford.

After university, Theresa worked as a barrister and as a lecturer in law at Kings College, London.

Villiers was elected the Conservative MP for Chipping Barnet in 2005.

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