Paterson exits Cabinet, as Truss takes environment role

Owen Paterson is out in the latest government reshuffle with former education minister Liz Truss stepping into the role of environment minister.

In the reshuffle, which is being dubbed as the “massacre of the moderates” by the opposition, Paterson has been sacked after less than two years in the job. However, food and farming minister George Eustice has kept his role.

Paterson's replacement, Truss, is one of a number of women promoted to the Cabinet, as Prime Minister David Cameron gears up for next year’s general election.

The removal of Paterson has met with a mixed reaction from the agricultural sector, with National Farmers’ Union president Meurig Raymond expressing disappointment at the decision, while those opposing the badger cull – an initiative strongly supported by the outgoing minister – welcomed his removal.

Environmental campaigners expressed delight at the news, describing Paterson as the “worst environment secretary the UK has had for decades”. Friends of the Earth’s executive director Andy Atkins said: “Mr Paterson has wilfully ignored scientific evidence on climate change, championed pesticide firms instead of bees, and massively underinvested in flood defences, leaving thousands of households at risk of future flooding.
“His successor must show they are serious about safeguarding Britain’s environment and protecting the nation from the growing threat of global climate change.”

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