Scott Mann: How green is DEFRA’s new junior minister

North Cornwall MP Scott Mann has been appointed parliamentary under secretary of state at DEFRA in the latest reshuffle. Here’s everything you need to know about the new minister.

Scott Mann Scott Mann. Credit: Government

The tidal and geothermal energy advocate has been a firm opponent of onshore wind, writing on his website that he “​​supports North Cornwall on several key issues including protecting the coast and countryside by opposing onshore wind turbines and instead, supporting alternative, more effective means of renewable energy such as tidal and geothermal”.

READ MORE: Scott Mann joins DEFRA as junior minister

Specific portfolios are yet to be announced, so it is not yet clear what Mann’s responsibilities will be within DEFRA, but he will be joining fellow newly appointed junior DEFRA minister Trudy Harrison.

Ex DEFRA junior minister Steve Double, a fellow Cornwall MP, who was appointed to the role in July this year and was responsible for looking at flooding, net zero and gene editing, shared in a Facebook  post earlier this month that he had been asked by Truss to step down.

READ MORE: Trudy Harrison: How green is the new junior environment minister?

Background 

Mann, who was born in Wadebridge, has been the North Cornwall MP since 2015. Until his political career, he worked as a postman for nearly twenty years.

Before becoming MP, Mann served as a councillor on Wadebridge West on North Cornwall District Council (NCDC). The pro-Brexit politician has said on his website he “is a firm believer in North Cornwall's traditional industries - fishing, farming, and tourism” saying that he believes them to be important for the economy.

Mann previously acted as government whip (Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury) from 22 January 2021 to 20 September 2022. He served as parliamentary private secretary to HM treasury in Theresa May’s government, but resigned in July 2018 over the ex-PM’s “watered down” plans for Brexit.

Stance on green issues

Mann has been quite vocal in the realm of environmental politics. In 2018, he introduced a private members bill to introduce penalties which could be levied against water companies pumping sewage into the sea, the Bathing Waters Bill.

At the time he said: “I have some of the most beautiful blue flag beaches in the whole of the UK, and some of the most spectacular surfing and waves around the country. However, we have a significant problem.”

The bill never made it past its second reading.

Mann did not support the Duke of Wellington amendment to the Environment Bill, which sought a ‘progressive reductions in the harm caused by discharges of untreated sewage,’ that made waves last year. He said there had been “an enormous number of half-truths and misconceptions” about the vote in a post on Facebook, but said he was hoping “to secure changes to [The Environment Bill] that better protect our oceans and waterways”. Mann has never rebelled against the government according to parliamentary monitoring website They Work For You.

READ MORE: The Environment Act 2021- 45 things you need to know

An ENDS Report film coming soon. SEVERN: The poisoning of Britain's Amazon. Watch the trailer here.