Some good news! Richard Benyon MP, the DEFRA minister, has been booted out in today’s Government reshuffle. He now returns to the back benches, presumably with more time to pursue his ‘sporting’ interests on his grouse moor in Scotland and his pheasant shoot estate in Berkshire.
Benyon had been in post at DEFRA for just over three years, with special responsibility for biodiversity and the natural environment, amongst other things (see here).
He is best known to us for being in office when a buzzard ‘management’ trial was sanctioned in 2012 (see here) which DEFRA almost got away with until public opinion forced a speedy government u-turn (see here).
Benyon also refused to criminalise the possession of the banned poison Carbofuran in England (see here) and didn’t see the need to introduce vicarious liability in England, but instead applauded gamekeepers “for the wonderful work they do in providing excellent biodiversity across our countryside” (see here).