New shadow DEFRA secretary announced

MP Peter Ainsworth has lost his job as Shadow Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary and left the Tory front bench following a reshuffle. He has been replaced by Nick Herbert, 45 (pictured).

Before becoming an MP in 2005, Mr Herbert held full-time posts campaigning for blood sports and against Britain joining the euro. He also had a spell as director of the public services thinktank Reform, which he co-founded.

The MP for Arundel and South Downs has opposed several proposed landfill sites and plans that would see the export of nearly two million tonnes of waste from London to West Sussex over the next 20 years. On getting his new position he said: "I am passionate about defending rural communities and protecting the environment."

Eric Pickles MP has left his post as shadow communities and local government secretary to become Conservative Party Chairman, swapping posts with Caroline Spelman. Mr Pickles has been a scourge of government plans to promote variable charging of households for refuse collection (see next article). Greg Clark MP remains as shadow energy and climate change secretary, while Theresa Villiers MP retains her post as shadow transport secretary.

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