Secretary of State for the Environment

Secretary of State for the Environment

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The Secretary of State for the Environment was a UK cabinet position, responsible for the Department of the Environment
Department of the Environment
Department of the Environment or Department for the Environment may refer to:-Australia:* Department of the Environment and Water Resources...

(DoE). This was created by Edward Heath
Edward Heath
Sir Edward Richard George "Ted" Heath, KG, MBE, PC was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and as Leader of the Conservative Party ....

 as a combination of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government
Ministry of Housing and Local Government
The Ministry of Housing and Local Government was a United Kingdom government department formed after the Second World War, covering the areas of housing and local government....

, the Ministry of Transport
Secretary of State for Transport
The Secretary of State for Transport is the member of the cabinet responsible for the British Department for Transport. The role has had a high turnover as new appointments are blamed for the failures of decades of their predecessors...

 and the Ministry of Public Building and Works on 15 October 1970. Thus it managed a mixed portfolio of issues: housing and planning, local government, public buildings, environmental protection and, initially, transport - James Callaghan
James Callaghan
Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, KG, PC , was a British Labour politician, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1976 to 1979 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1976 to 1980...

 gave transport its own department again in 1976. It has been asserted that during the Thatcher government the DoE led the drive towards centralism, and the undermining of local government. Particularly, the concept of 'inner cities policy', often involving centrally negotiated public-private partnerships
Public-private partnership
Public–private partnership describes a government service or private business venture which is funded and operated through a partnership of government and one or more private sector companies...

 and centrally appointed development corporations
Development Corporation
In England and Wales, Development Corporations are bodies set up by the UK government and charged with the urban development of an area, outside the usual system of Town and Country Planning in the United Kingdom...

, which moved control of many urban areas to the centre, and away from their, often left-wing, local authorities.

In 1997, when Labour came to power, the DoE was merged with the Department of Transport to form the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions
Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions
The Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions was a UK Cabinet position created in 1997, with responsibility for the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions ....

 (DETR), thus, essentially, restoring the DoE to its initial 1970 portfolio. The titular mention of 'the Regions' referred to the government's pledge to create regional government
Regional Assemblies in England
The Regional Assemblies of England were a group of indirectly elected regional bodies established originally under the name Regional Chambers by the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998. They were abolished on 31 March 2010 and replaced by Local Authority Leaders’ Boards...

. In the wake of the 2001 foot and mouth crisis, the environmental protection elements of the DETR were split of and merged with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food was a United Kingdom government department created by the Board of Agriculture Act 1889 and at that time called the Board of Agriculture, and then from 1903 the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, and from 1919 the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries...

 (MAFF), to form the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is a UK cabinet-level position in charge of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the successor to the positions of Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport...

 (Defra). Meanwhile, the transport, housing and planning, and local and regional government aspects went to a new Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions
Secretary of State for Transport
The Secretary of State for Transport is the member of the cabinet responsible for the British Department for Transport. The role has had a high turnover as new appointments are blamed for the failures of decades of their predecessors...

 (DTLR). A year later the DTLR also split, with transport getting its own department
Department for Transport
In the United Kingdom, the Department for Transport is the government department responsible for the English transport network and a limited number of transport matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland which are not devolved...

 and the rest going to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Secretaries of State for the Environment

Name Took office Left office Political party Prime Minister
Peter Walker
Peter Walker, Baron Walker of Worcester
Peter Edward Walker, Baron Walker of Worcester, MBE, PC , was British politician. A member of the Conservative Party, he served in the Cabinet as the Environment Secretary , Trade and Industry Secretary , Agriculture Minister , Energy Secretary and Welsh Secretary...

 
15 October 1970 5 November 1972 Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 
Edward Heath
Edward Heath
Sir Edward Richard George "Ted" Heath, KG, MBE, PC was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and as Leader of the Conservative Party ....

Geoffrey Rippon
Geoffrey Rippon
Geoffrey Frederick Rippon, Baron Rippon of Hexham, PC, was a British Conservative politician. He was Chairman of the European-Atlantic Group....

 
5 November 1972 4 March 1974 Conservative
Anthony Crosland
Anthony Crosland
Charles Anthony Raven Crosland , otherwise Tony Crosland or C.A.R. Crosland, was a British Labour Party politician and author. He served as Member of Parliament for South Gloucestershire and later for Great Grimsby...

 
5 March 1974 8 April 1976 Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 
Harold Wilson
Harold Wilson
James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, KG, OBE, FRS, FSS, PC was a British Labour Member of Parliament, Leader of the Labour Party. He was twice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the 1960s and 1970s, winning four general elections, including a minority government after the...

Peter Shore
Peter Shore
Peter David Shore, Baron Shore of Stepney PC was a British Labour politician and former Cabinet Minister, noted in part for his opposition to the United Kingdom's entry into the European Economic Community. His idiosyncratic left-wing nationalism led to comparison with the French politician...

 
8 April 1976 4 May 1979 Labour James Callaghan
James Callaghan
Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, KG, PC , was a British Labour politician, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1976 to 1979 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1976 to 1980...

Michael Heseltine
Michael Heseltine
Michael Ray Dibdin Heseltine, Baron Heseltine, CH, PC is a British businessman, Conservative politician and patron of the Tory Reform Group. He was a Member of Parliament from 1966 to 2001 and was a prominent figure in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major...

 
5 May 1979 6 January 1983 Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

Tom King
Tom King, Baron King of Bridgwater
Thomas Jeremy King, Baron King of Bridgwater, CH, PC , is a British politician. A member of the Conservative Party, he served in the Cabinet from 1983–92, and was the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Bridgwater in Somerset from 1970-2001...

 
6 January 1983 11 June 1983 Conservative
Patrick Jenkin  11 June 1983 2 September 1985 Conservative
Kenneth Baker
Kenneth Baker
Kenneth Wilfred Baker, Baron Baker of Dorking, CH, PC , is a British politician, a former Conservative MP and a Life Member of the Tory Reform Group.-Early life:...

 
2 September 1985 21 May 1986 Conservative
Nicholas Ridley  21 May 1986 24 July 1989 Conservative
Chris Patten
Chris Patten
Christopher Francis Patten, Baron Patten of Barnes, CH, PC , is the last Governor of British Hong Kong, a former British Conservative politician, and the current chairman of the BBC Trust....

 
24 July 1989 28 November 1990 Conservative
Michael Heseltine
Michael Heseltine
Michael Ray Dibdin Heseltine, Baron Heseltine, CH, PC is a British businessman, Conservative politician and patron of the Tory Reform Group. He was a Member of Parliament from 1966 to 2001 and was a prominent figure in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major...

 
28 November 1990 11 April 1992 Conservative John Major
John Major
Sir John Major, is a British Conservative politician, who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1990–1997...

Michael Howard
Michael Howard
Michael Howard, Baron Howard of Lympne, CH, QC, PC is a British politician, who served as the Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition from November 2003 to December 2005...

 
11 April 1992 27 May 1993 Conservative
John Gummer
John Gummer
John Selwyn Gummer, Baron Deben, PC is a British Conservative Party politician, formerly Member of Parliament for Suffolk Coastal, now a member of the House of Lords. He is Chairman of the environmental consultancy company Sancroft International and Chairman of Veolia Water...

27 May 1993 2 May 1997 Conservative