James Forsyth

Herbert will be the countryside’s voice in the Shadow Cabinet

Herbert will be the countryside's voice in the Shadow Cabinet
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When Nick Herbert was moved from Justice to Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs, which is essentially the old Ministry of Agriculture Food and Fisheries, in the Tory reshuffle there was disappointment among reformers who felt that his talents could have been better used elsewhere, most notably the Department of Communities and Local Government. But Herbert is bringing some much needed policy innovation and energy to this brief; his predecessor Peter Ainsworth was far too anonymous.

Today’s policy proposal on food labeling strikes the right balance between informing the consumer of where their food has come from and avoiding crass food nationalism. Combined with last week’s proposal to create a market in bio-credits it is an impressive start.

Interestingly, Herbert—who was a key player in both the pro-hunting and anti-Euro campaigns—is also planning to bring a more campaigning approach to this brief. Expect to see Herbert using the position as a kind of rural representative in the Shadow Cabinet. 

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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