Three Conservative MPs have been appointed Ministers of State in the government’s two environmental departments.
Charles Hendry and Gregory Barker are the new Energy and Climate Change Ministers under Liberal Democrat Chris Huhne, while James Paice has been awarded the ministerial portfolio for Envrionment, Food and Rural Affairs under the Secretary of State Caroline Spelman.
The promotion of the three Conservatives mirrors their role in opposition. Paice’s promotion to Minister of State follows his tenure as Shadow Agriculture Minister during the Conservative Party’s days in opposition, while Charles Hendry has served as Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary since 2008.
In addition to the Ministers, Conservatives Richard Benyon MP and Lord Henley have been apppointed Parliamentary Under Secretaries of State in the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
Despite the appointments, it is not known at this stage what specific ministerial portfolios the three new Ministers will have.
The appointments appear to leave senior Liberal Democrats Simon Hughes (who held the Shadow Climate Change Secretary position) and Shadow Environment Spokesman Tim Farron without roles in the new coalition cabinet.
In addition to the appointments at the environmental departments, Conservative Grant Shapps is the new Minister for Housing and Planning at the Department for Communities and Local Government. His new position comes after three years spent on the Conservative front bench as Shadow Housing Minister.