- Luke becomes new Shadow Environment Secretary in post-election reshuffle
- Three DEFRA bills expected in January including the Environment Bill, Fisheries Bill and Agriculture Bill
- Luke becomes first Plymouth MP in the Shadow Cabinet for decades
As part of the post-election reshuffle Luke Pollard MP has been promoted to become the Labour Party’s new Shadow Environment Secretary and will join the Shadow Cabinet. Luke replaces Sue Hayman who lost her seat in the General Election.
“The climate crisis affecting our planet cannot be ignored. As Shadow Environment Secretary, I’ll be calling for the action that is required to cut carbon, protect habitats and wildlife and ensure we maintain the high environmental and animal welfare standards as the UK leaves the EU.
“I was proud to be one of the first MPs to call for Parliament to declare a climate emergency. The declaration of a climate emergency means we all need to look again at the way our country is run and take different decisions to cut carbon – I have and Government needs to as well.
“With wildfires raging in Australia, global temperature records being broken, species being lost, more people suffering from poor air quality and our imminent exit from the EU, there is no more important role in Parliament for the South West than this.
“I want to pay tribute to Sue Hayman, David Drew, Sandy Martin and Jenny Chapman who all made huge contributions to the Shadow Environment Team and sadly all lost their seats in the General Election.
“As a Plymouth MP, I am proud that I’ll have a larger platform to raise the issues that matter most to people in Plymouth. I will do all I can to ensure that the views of Plymouth and the South West are being heard in Westminster from my new position in the Shadow Cabinet. Of course, it will be up to a new leader of the Labour Party to decide what will happen after March, but it is important that the Environment Bill, the Agriculture Bill and the Fisheries Bill are properly scrutinised and amended, to reflect the urgency of action required to address the climate emergency and get us ready for the rocky road ahead as we leave the European Union.”
Parliament is expected to start scrutiny of the Environment Bill, the Fisheries Bill and Agriculture Bill in the next few weeks. Combined with changes being proposed to animal welfare legislation and regulation Defra could have more legislative business than any other Whitehall department.
- Luke Pollard was elected as the Labour and Co-operative MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport in 2017 and was re-elected in 2019. He served as Shadow Fisheries Minister in the Shadow Environment Team from 2018-2019. A proud Janner, he is the first Plymouth born MP to represent the city since Michael Foot in 1945. His little sister is a sheep farmer in Cornwall. Luke has been an active campaigner on the environment for many years. He proposed that Plymouth Sound became the UK’s first National Marine Park, a campaign that enjoyed cross-party support in the last Parliament. He has championed stronger animal welfare policies including strengthening the fox hunting ban, ending the badger cull and protecting coastal and rural habitats from the climate crisis. Luke lives in Plymouth and is the city’s first ever openly gay MP.
- Luke will shadow Theresa Villiers, the current Environment Secretary.
- Joining Luke’s new Shadow Environment Team will be Daniel Zeichner MP, the Cambridge MP who becomes Shadow Farming Minister. Ruth Jones MP, the Newport West MP, who becomes Shadow Fisheries Minister and Alan Whitehead MP, Southampton Test, who joins the team alongside his current climate change responsibilities in the Shadow Business Team.
"As Shadow Environment Secretary, I’ll be calling for the action that is required to cut carbon, protect habitats and wildlife and ensure we maintain the high environmental and animal welfare standards as the UK leaves the EU."