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Former children's minister takes over Defra

Conservative MP Liz Truss has been appointed as the new environment secretary following a cabinet reshuffle.

She moves from her role as parliamentary under-secretary of state for education and childcare and replaces fellow Conservative MP Owen Paterson, who has headed Defra since September 2012.

Truss, 38, has been an MP for South West Norfolk since 2010. She has opposed the controversial Kings Lynn energy-from-waste facility.

In March 2014, she welcomed the termination of the project. “The proposed incinerator is too big, in the wrong location and not wanted by the majority of residents in West Norfolk,” she said.

Elsewhere in the reshuffle, business and energy minister Michael Fallon has left his role at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to become defence secretary.

He will be replaced by Matt Hancock, who had been serving as minister of state for skills and enterprise. Hancock’s appointment to the role would mean he is is in line to also serve as ‘waste champion’, a role that the Government indicated in June would be given to the serving minister of state for business and energy in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Energy and climate change minister Greg Barker has resigned from his position and will stand down as an MP at the next General Election.

David Cameron praised Barker for his role in establishing the Green Investment Bank and making investment funds available for the renewables sector.

 

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