MP loses front bench agriculture position
THE MP for Somerton and Frome has been sacked from the front bench of the coalition government.
David Heath lost his job as minister of state for agriculture and food at Defra during a reshuffle on Monday.
The Liberal Democrat was in the post for just over a year.
Two MPs from Cornwall, Conservative George Eustice and Lib Dem Dan Rogerson have been appointed as new ministers at Defra. As part of his role Mr Heath was key in implementing pilot badger culls and attempting to resolve flooding issues in rural areas.
In a letter to the MP, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg thanked him for his work.
He said: "I am very aware of the pressures on you within Defra over the last year and I am particularly grateful to you for the clarity and objectivity you have brought to issues of animal and plant disease, your defence of environmental issues, your commitment to agriculture and rural areas, and the development of new and exciting policies to protect and enhance our forests."
Mr Heath, who was deputy leader of the House of Commons from 2010 until 2012, replied to Mr Clegg to say the two front bench positions had been well suited to him.
He said: "I could not imagine two positions in Government to which I was better suited than those in which I have served.
"I will, by the time of the next election, have represented my community in Somerset for 30 years, 18 of those as member of Parliament. I hope I am able to make a further contribution to public life in some capacity.
"However, I do not for one moment regret taking the opportunity to play a part in the Government of this country at a very difficult time."
CABINET LETTERS: PAGE 10