New Defra Ministers Announced

Issue date: 17 May 2010

Caroline Spelman has been appointed as Secretary of State Defra.

The Secretary of State has overall responsibility for all Departmental issues

Caroline Spelman has been the Member of Parliament for Meriden since 1997. In Opposition, she served in the Shadow Cabinet, covering the Environment, International Development and Communities and Local Government portfolios, as well as holding other senior posts.

Caroline Spelman’s Meriden constituency includes part of the northern section of the Stratford upon Avon Canal ( Hockley Heath and Waring's Green to Majors Green), as well as a part of the Grand Union Canal main line between Chessetts Wood and Elmdon Heath, which includes Knowle Locks. (See

Whilst she is local but not the constituency MP to IWA’s national chairman, Clive Henderson, who is in correspondence with her, her constituency is also local to the chairman of BW, Tony Hales.

Richard Benyon MP Newbury (on the K& A) was appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Defra on 14 May 2010.

Mr Benyon served as a Shadow Minister for the Environment, Fisheries and Wildlife. Prior to this appointment he was a Party Whip. He has also served on the Home Affairs Select Committee. He is a Vice president of the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust , and a keen angling supporter.

James Paice MP was appointed as Minister of State on 13 May 2010.

Jim Paice has been the MP for South East Cambridgeshire since 1987, and before joining Defra was twice the Opposition spokesperson for Agriculture and Rural Affairs. He has also been spokesperson for Home Affairs.

Mr Paice held ministerial posts at the Department of Education and Employment and the Department of Employment from 1994 to 1997. He also served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to two Ministers.

Mr Paice has a lifelong involvement with farming. He was a key figure in the Young Farmers movement, and represented the UK on the European Council of Young Farmers for four years. He was a member of the Suffolk Coastal District Council between 1976 and 1987 becoming the Chairman in 1983.