Ministerial role

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs


The Secretary of State has overall responsibility for the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. He has specific responsibilities for:

  • budget, including ODA
  • international relations
  • senior appointments

Current role holder

The Rt Hon Steve Barclay MP

Steve Barclay was appointed Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 13 November 2023. He was previously Secretary of State for Health and Social Care between 25 October 2022 and 13 November 2023. He held the same role between 5 July 2022 and 6 September 2022.

He was previously appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office between 15 September 2021 and July 2022.

He was previously Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 13 February 2020 to 15 September 2021 and Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union from 16 November 2018 to 31 January 2020 and Minister of State for the Department of Health and Social Care from January to November 2018. Steve was also Economic Secretary to the Treasury from June 2017 to January 2018.

He served as a Government Whip (Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury) from July 2016 to June 2017. He was elected Conservative MP for North East Cambridgeshire in May 2010.


Steve was educated at King Edward VII School in Lytham St. Annes Lancashire before reading history at Peterhouse, Cambridge. He later studied law at the College of Law, Chester.

Political career

From 2010 to 2014 Steve served on the Public Accounts Committee which scrutinises government spending. Steve served as Assistant Government Whip from May 2015 until July 2016.

Career outside politics

Steve qualified as a solicitor in 1998. He worked as an insurance company lawyer for Axa Insurance, as a regulator for the Financial Services Authority, and as Director of Regulatory Affairs and then Head of Anti-Money Laundering and Sanctions at Barclays Retail Bank.

Personal life

Steve is married and has 2 children.

More about this person

Previous holders of this role

  1. The Rt Hon Thérèse Coffey MP

    2022 to 2023

  2. The Rt Hon Ranil Jayawardena MP

    2022 to 2022

  3. The Rt Hon George Eustice MP

    2020 to 2022

  4. The Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP

    2019 to 2020

  5. The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP

    2017 to 2019

  6. The Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP

    2016 to 2017

  7. The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP

    2014 to 2016

  8. The Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP

    2012 to 2014

  9. Dame Caroline Spelman

    2010 to 2012