All change at Defra and the DfT as Villiers and Shapps appointed

New Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed Theresa Villiers as Environment Secretary and Grant Shapps as Transport Secretary, following a wide-ranging reshuffle.

Ms Villiers, a former Northern Ireland and transport minister, replaces Michael Gove at Defra who has moved on after two largely well-received years at the department.

In one of his final speeches, he said the upcoming Environment Bill will enshrine World Health Organisation (WHO) limits for particulate matter in UK law.

Ms Villiers has previously spoken out against the expansion of Heathrow Airport over concerns about air quality. In 2016 she said: ‘We should not make a serious problem even worse by trying to expand Heathrow.’

However, she has voted 11 times in Parliament against measures to tackle climate change and has also backed fracking.

In 2017 she said smaller bus companies need more time to transition to lower-emission vehicles.

Mr Shapps will take responsibility at the Department for Transport (DfT), replacing Chris Grayling who was sacked yesterday.

In a tweet, Mr Shapps said he was ‘delighted and honoured’ to take the position.

He is currently the chair of the General Aviation All-Party Parliamentary Group.

During his time as housing minister, he said that builders should not be held accountable for occupiers use of appliances when trying to hit carbon emissionstargets.

Thomas Barrett
Senior journalist - NewStart Follow him on Twitter


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