New Prime Minister Liz Truss appoints former leader of the House of Commons Mark Spencer as Defra minister, moving Victoria Prentis to DWP

New Defra Minister Mark Spencer

New Defra minister Mark Spencer

Image: @DefraGovUK

Former chief whip and leader of the House of Commons Mark Spencer was appointed Defra minister in Liz Truss’s new government last week (7 September) replacing Victoria Prentis, who becomes minister of state for the Department of Work and Pensions.

Spencer, who was previously Lord President and Leader of the House of Commons from 8 February to 6 September 2022, also served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Chief Whip) between July 2019 and February 2022, Comptroller of HM Household (Government Whip) between July 2018 and July 2019, and Vice Chamberlain of HM Household (Government Whip) between January and July 2018.

From a farming family, Spencer was first elected to Parliament as Conservative MP for Sherwood in May 2010.

Commenting on his new role via Twitter, Spencer said: “Delighted to be joining the Defra team. Looking forward to supporting food production and the environment and our rural communities.”

Outgoing farming minister Victoria Prentis said: “It has been a great privilege to serve in @DefraGovUK. Farming and the environment will always be a major part of my life. I am very proud to have taken through the Agriculture Act & Fisheries Act, and to have launched the first ever Government Food Strategy.

“I am confident that our agricultural transition will put UK food security on a new sustainable footing. I’d like to thank my dedicated officials and colleagues at Defra for their support over the past two and a half years, and wish them well.”