Ministerial role

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs


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

Specific responsibilities include:

  • oversight of EU exit work and the overall policy programme
  • international relations
  • emergencies
  • departmental administration

Current role holder: The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP

The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP was appointed Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 11 June 2017. He was elected Conservative MP for Surrey Heath in 2005.


Michael was educated at Robert Gordon’s College, Aberdeen and Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University.

Political career

Michael was Shadow Minister for Housing from 2005 to 2007 and Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families from 2007 to 2010.

He served as Secretary of State for Education from May 2010 until July 2014. From July 2014 to May 2015, he served as Government Chief Whip and Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury. Michael also served as Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice from May 2015 until 14 July 2016.

Career outside politics

Michael became a journalist after leaving university, working as a reporter for The Press and Journal in Aberdeen, a researcher and reporter at Scottish Television and a reporter for BBC Television. He was later Assistant Editor of The Times.

Personal life

Michael is married with 2 children.

Previous holders of this role

  1. The Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP

    • 2016 to 2017
  2. The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP

    • 2014 to 2016
  3. The Rt Hon Owen Paterson

    • 2012 to 2014
  4. The Rt Hon Caroline Spelman

    • 2010 to 2012


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  1. Environment Secretary confirms sentience of animals will continue to be recognised and protections strengthened when we leave the EU

    • News story
  2. UK Government introduces measure to safeguard water supply for England & Wales

    • Press release
  3. England’s bathing waters hold high standards

    • Press release
  4. UK ratifies new agreement to tackle global warming

    • News story
  5. Environment Secretary sets out plans to enhance environmental standards

    • Speech
  6. New environmental protections to deliver a Green Brexit

    • Press release
  7. CCTV to be introduced in all slaughterhouses in England in 2018

    • Press release
  8. UK Youth Parliament 2017

    • Speech
  9. Environment Secretary backs further restrictions on neonicotinoid pesticides

    • Press release
  10. Multi-Agency Flood Plan (MAFP) Review: Terms of Reference

    • News story