Mark Spencer has become Defra minister of state in Liz Truss’s new government, replacing Victoria Prentis who has been appointed minister of state for the Department of Work and Pensions.
Mr Spencer attended Shuttleworth Agricultural College in Bedfordshire before joining the family farming business. Before entering parliament he was also chairman of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs, as well as a district and county councillor.
He was elected as Conservative MP for Sherwood in 2010 and has since served on several committees including the Efra Committee. He was appointed to the cabinet by Boris Johnson in 2019 as Government chief whip and parliamentary secretary to the treasury. In February 2022 he was made leader of the House of Commons and lord president of the council.
Commenting on his new role Mr 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.’