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Long-serving Defra minister George Eustice resigns

George Eustice has resigned from the government and from his post as Minister of State in Defra. That post is more senior than Therese Coffey as a Parliamentary Under Secretary and less senior than Michael Gove as Secretary of State.

Eustice has been a Defra minister since October 2013 – an exceptionally long time (first as a PUS and then, from May 2015, as Minister of State).

I don’t know him personally at all, but I’ve seen him operate, and I’ve heard tell of him, and although he and I would probably disagree about most things I’m sorry to see him go and admire him for the stand he is taking (even though I disagree with his views on Brexit).

He struck me as someone who knew his subject and worked hard at it – I might be wrong but that is the impression he gave me. Defra has not been blessed by many such ministers in recent years and Eustice stood out as being engaged and competent (even though I don’t agree with him). Parliament needs more MPs like Eustice, who stand up for their beliefs, and government needs more ministers like Eustice who know their subject.

I would certainly suggest that it is time that Therese Coffey were promoted into an agriculture hotseat and out of a biodiversity role for which she is spectacularly unsuited. What a win-win situation that would be… And, yes, that does mean that it would be difficult to imagine anyone who could be worse in that role than she.

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