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UK without tourism minister following dramatic reshuffle that saw new chiefs for culture and environment

14 February 2020 by
UK without tourism minister following dramatic reshuffle that saw new chiefs for culture and environment

The UK is currently without a tourism minister after Helen Whately MP vacated the position she took up just five months ago to become the new minister of state at the Department of Health, following a vicious cabinet reshuffle that left many prominent MPs out in the cold.

Whatley is the fourth minister for arts, heritage and tourism to vacate the post since 2017.

Announcing her departure she tweeted: "Sad to be moving on from the department of culture media and sport and all the great people I've been working with...and all the exciting and important things we've been working on. Thank you all!

"Looking forward to working with Secretary of State Matt Hancock and all the brilliant people in the department of health, the NHS and social care."

The reshuffle saw Oliver Dowden named secretary of state for the Department of Culture Media and Sport. He replaces Nicky Morgan, Baroness Morgan of Cotes, who had been expected to vacate the role following her move to the House of Lords.

George Eustice has been appointed the new secretary of state for the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls welcomed him in a tweet: "Congratulations to George Eustice and look forward to continuing to work with you on food and trade policy."

He replaces Theresa Villiers who had only held the post for six months. In January she told BBC's Countryfile programme that the UK would not change its stance on food standards.

She said: "We will not be importing chlorinated-chicken. We will not be importing hormone-treated beef. Both of those are illegal under EU law, which we are importing into our domestic system. There are legal barriers to their import and those are going to stay in place."

It is not yet known if the government will now reverse its position.

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