Coffey ‘temporarily replaced’ after illness

The government has confirmed that Thérèse Coffey, the government minister responsible for air quality, has been “temporarily replaced” as parliamentary under secretary of state at Defra as she “recovers from a period of illness”.

Defra issued the statement yesterday (May 22), explaining the David Rutley , who was appointed MP for Macclesfield at the 2010 election,  will temporarily take over the role while Ms Coffey recovers.

Defra minister Therese Coffey

Prior to becoming MP, Mr Rutley was previously a senior executive at supermarket ASDA, while he also worked special adviser in the last Conservative government at the treasury, the cabinet office and the ministry of agriculture.

Mr Rutley is part of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on China, small business and national parks. He co-chairs the APPG on mountaineering.

Local government

The Defra statement also announced that Nigel Adams MP will be appointed parliamentary under secretaries of state at the ministry of housing, communities and local government.

Mr Adams has also been appointed temporarily to provide support so Heather Wheeler MP can spend more time with her husband who has health issues.

“The Queen has been pleased to approve that David Rutley MP and Nigel Adams MP be appointed parliamentary under secretaries of state at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government respectively,” the Defra statement said.

It added: “Both roles are unpaid and are in addition to their current roles as government whips.”