Owen Paterson replaces Caroline Spelman as Environment Secretary


Former Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson is the new Environment Secretary following a cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Owen Paterson is the Conservative MP for North Shropshire and was Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food from 2003 to 2005. He then became Shadow Minister for Transport until 2007, when he became Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary. Following the 2010 General Election he became Northern Ireland Secretary.


He began work in 1979 with the British Leather Company eventually becoming managing director from 1993 to 1999. He was elected to Parliament in 1997.

Owen Paterson is known for a keen interest in agriculture, but he appears to have had little involvement in the recycling sector. Indeed, it appears that he has only twice spoken about recycling in Parliament. The first was when he questioned the former government on recycling sheet plastic for farmers in 2002.

As Northern Ireland Secretary, he also answered a question from Luciana Berger MP where he said that recycling had been introduced across the Northern Ireland Office’s estate as part of measures to reduce carbon emissions.