Thérèse Coffey has been appointed Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Thérèse Coffey has been appointed Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 25 October 2022, replacing Ranil Jayawardena, who resigned.
Jayawardena was appointed to the role in September by former Prime Minister, Liz Truss, but left the portfolio after Truss stepped down.
She was previously Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and Deputy Prime Minister under Liz Truss, between 6 September 2022 and 25 October 2022.
Thérèse Coffey was Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions between 8 September 2019 and 6 September 2022.
She was Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs between 25 July 2019 and 8 September 2019.
She was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 17 July 2016 to 25 July 2019.
She was elected the Conservative MP for Suffolk Coastal in May 2010.
Thérèse Coffey served as Deputy Leader of the House of Commons from May 2015 until July 2016.
Thérèse served on the Culture, Media and Sport Committee until she was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Michael Fallon, Minister for Business and Energy.
After Amber Rudd’s resignation from PM Boris Johnson’s Cabinet in September 2019, Coffey was selected as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. Previously, in her role as Minister of State for Defra she was said to be ‘heavily involved in developing and bringing forward the Resources and Waste Strategy’.
In her time as Resources Minister, Coffey reiterated the preference of the government to use voluntary commitments and measures to enact change, rather than introduce new regulations. This was particularly clear during her evidence session for Defra’s inquiry on food waste.
Coffey has also expressed apprehension of concept of a circular economy, telling the Environmental Audit Committee in 2016: “The word circular economy to me is at risk of implying there isn’t growth, we can continue to grow, it doesn’t just need to be a closed loop.”
Thérèse has campaigned on stopping the A14 toll, improving NHS experience for patients and better broadband.
Outside politics, Thérèse worked for the international company Mars. When Thérèse qualified as a chartered management accountant, she became Finance Director for a UK subsidiary of Mars. She has also worked at the BBC.