Ministerial role

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Rural Affairs, access to nature and Biosecurity)


Responsibilities include:

  • rural affairs: rural productivity and connectivity, rural life opportunities (childcare, education, skills and health)
  • landscape, including National Parks and AONBs
  • access including rights of way and coastal paths
  • animal and plant health
  • domestic green finance and finance markets for nature and the environment
  • lead for RBG Kew, Animal and Plant Health Agency, Veterinary Medicines Directorate and Animal Health and Welfare Board for England

Current role holder

The Rt Hon Lord Benyon

The Rt Hon Lord Benyon was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 13 May 2021.

Lord Benyon was raised to the Peerage in January 2021.


Richard was educated at Bradfield College and the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester.

Political career

He was Conservative MP for Newbury from May 2005 to November 2019.

Richard Benyon was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Natural Environment, Water and Rural Affairs from May 2010 to October 2013.

He served as Opposition Whip from 2007 to 2009 and as Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 2009 to 2010.

Career outside politics

Following a career in the army, where he served with the Royal Green Jackets from 1980 to 1985, Richard qualified as a chartered surveyor and ran a business which included farming, forestry and the management of rural and urban housing.

Personal life

Richard is married with 2 children and has 3 children from his previous marriage.

More about this person

Previous holders of this role

  1. Lord Gardiner of Kimble

    2016 to 2021