Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of MRW, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Rory Stewart leaves Defra

Rory Stewart has switched from Defra to the department for international development (DFID) in the latest moves following Theresa May becoming Prime Minister and the subsequent ministerial reshuffles.

He is likely to be replaced by Thérèse Coffey, who joins the Defra ministerial team but without clarification of roles at this stage.

Stewart’s departure maintains what has become an almost traditional one-year post for a waste minister, to the frustration of the sector.

Engaging ministers over policy developments is more difficult because of the need for them to become acquainted with industry issues at the start of their tenure.

After Stewart was appointed in May 2015, his first major public engagement was to deliver the keynote speech at the annual Chartered Institution of Wastes Management conference in London when he charmed the audience by saying he wanted to listen, adding: “I want to make the UK the best country in the world for recycling”.

But much of that goodwill evaporated when he returned to the 2016 event and repeated the ‘listening’ message - although he did concede: “I’m a more world-weary, ground down minister than the one who bounded on stage then.”

His department has nevertheless been praised for continuing a commitment to fight waste crime.

One policy area that Stewart had been developing was a harmonisation drive for household collections with new guidance due to be published later this week. WRAP had been commissioned to consider how greater consistency could be achieved.

2000 therese coffey

2000 therese coffey

Coffey, pictured, became MP for Suffolk Coastal in 2010 and was previously deputy leader of the House of Commons. Previous government experience includes being a parliamentary private secretary to Michael Fallon when his brief included business and energy.

Her ministerial web page says she enjoys watching football, gardening and music, especially Muse. She is a member of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale).

Existing Defra ministers George Eustice and Lord Gardiner of Kimble have not been moved.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Ecosurety Ltd

    Harmonisation of local council recycling collections would go a long way to improving the average person's understanding of how to recycle. The world has changed, with people moving home more than ever. The lack of consistency is a real problem in the UK, as anyone who's ever moved between councils would testify. I hope the guidance helps to address this issue regardless of Rory's departure.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.