Former Shadow Minister Daniel Zeichner MP has been appointed Minister of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The news comes as Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer continues to appoint roles in Government.

Zeichner previously served as Shadow Farming Minister from January 2020, and in 2021 he led for the Labour Party in Parliament on the Agricultural Bill and was a member of the committee scrutinising the Environment Bill.

The Labour Party has referred to Zeichner as a “life-long environmentalist” with an “enduring interest in agriculture and food issues”, having spoken for the party on food security and wider environmental issues.

NFU deputy president David Exwood wrote on social media platform ‘X’ (formerly Twitter): “Congratulations Daniel. I look forward to working with you. We appreciate the engagement you’ve had with the agriculture industry over a number of years and the understanding you bring to the role.”

Steve Reed to head up Defra

This comes as Sir Keir Starmer appointed former Shadow Secretary of State for Defra, Steve Reed OBE MP, to the position of Defra Secretary.

Reed’s responsibilities will include budgeting, international relations and senior appointments, and he takes over from the Rt Hon Steve Barclay following the general election on 4th July.

Responding to the Reed’s appointment on ‘X’, NFU president Tom Bradshaw said: “I look forward to working with you to deliver for food, farming and the environment at this crucial time.”