Conservative environment minister Zac Goldsmith is facing a particularly difficult reelection battle. Photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images Conservative environment minister Zac Goldsmith is facing a particularly difficult reelection battle. Photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

General election: Which MPs with green roles are most vulnerable?

With the general election now officially underway, ENDS looks at which MPs with an interest in climate and environmental issues face the toughest reelection battles.

ENDS has compiled a list of MPs sitting on two select committees - the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) and the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee - and of those with green portfolios on both sides of the House. Those with the slimmest majorities from the 2017 ballot are considered to be most at risk in the upcoming election.

Zac Goldsmith, Conservative. Richmond Park. Majority: 45

As a cabinet minister with responsibilities in both DEFRA and the Department for International Development, Zac Goldsmith has played a prominent role in announcing new green policies for the current government. However, his rise to the top of British politics could be undone by his wafer thin majority in Richmond Park, a leafy west London suburb and key target of the Liberal Democrats.

John Grogan, Labour. Keighley. Majority: 249

EFRA Committee member and Labour Party veteran John Grogan faces an uphill battle to retain his Yorkshire seat of Keighley, near Bradford. Having only won the seat in 2017, the remainer MP could fall victim to an electoral campaign focused on leaving the EU. During the last parliamentary session, Grogan was particularly active on issues around water quality in Yorkshire.

Derek Thomas, Conservative. St Ives. Majority: 312

The Liberal Democrats need the slightest of swings away from the Conservatives to take the seat of St Ives in Cornwall from Derek Thomas, who sits on the EAC. He has taken a particular interest in conservation issues while in parliament and called for legally-binding obligations in the Environment Bill to encourage the recovery of the natural world.

Theresa Villiers, Conservative. Chipping Barnet. Majority: 353

Environment secretary Theresa Villiers could find herself out of parliament in November as she attempts to defend her suburban north London seat from the Labour Party. Villiers’ strong views on defending the green belt and her environmental credentials may not be enough to balance out her staunch support for Brexit in a remainer stronghold.

Matthew Offord, Conservative. Hendon. Majority: 1,072

Another die-hard Brexiter, Matthew Offord, running in the neighbouring constituency of Hendon, is also under threat from Labour. An EAC member in the last parliament, he has a particular interest in animal welfare and raised concerns over the government’s plans to replace the EU’s REACH regime for chemicals after Brexit.

George Eustice, Conservative. Camborne and Redruth. Majority: 1,577

While respected by many within the agriculture sector, farming minister George Eustice could struggle to retain his seat in the Cornish constituency of Camborne and Redruth. The Labour Party almost doubled its vote share at the 2017 election and could win the seat for the first time since its creation in 2010 on a small vote swing.

Ruth Jones, Labour. Newport West. Majority: 1,951

A newcomer to parliament in March 2019, Ruth Jones faces a tough contest against a Conservative Party that has steadily increased its vote share in her Newport West constituency. Upon entering the House of Commons, Jones has sat on the EAC.

Mary Creagh, Labour. Wakefield. Majority: 2,176

An arch-remainer and EAC chair, Mary Creagh has played a prominent role in holding the government to account over its plans to replace EU environmental governance mechanisms after Brexit. However, her Wakefield consistency is a target of the Conservative Party, which believes its Brexit-backing voters can be convinced to reject a Labour candidate for the first time since 1931.

Robert Goodwill, Conservative. Scarborough and Whitby. Majority: 3,435

Former DEFRA minister Robert Goodwill has seen his majority steadily erode in Scarborough and Whitby since he first took the seat from Labour in 2005. An exodus of Conservative voters to the Brexit Party could scupper Goodwill’s chances of retaining the constituency.

Sue Hayman, Labour. Workington. Majority: 3,925

Labour’s Sue Hayman is one of the most vulnerable members of the shadow cabinet, representing a northern constituency that the Conservatives are banking on turning blue on the back of their Brexit-focused campaign. As shadow environment minister, Hayman has been outspoken on the government’s approach to post-Brexit green governance and on the prospect of a “Trump trade deal” that undermines environmental protections.

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