Defra gives Lord de Mauley air quality brief

Lord de Mauley named as minister in charge of air quality by Defra, eleven days after departure of Lord Taylor

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has today (August 18) named Lord de Mauley as the new air quality minister.

He replaces the outgoing Lord Taylor of Holbeach, who departed Defra on September 7 to take up a new post at the Home Office.

The position at Defra represents the first ministerial post for Rupert Ponsonby, the 7th Baron de Mauley, although he served as shadow minister for children, schools & families and energy & climate change while in opposition.

Lord de Mauley has been named as the new minister heading up air quality at Defra

His responsibilities as minister will cover a number of issues outside of air quality including climate change adaption, sustainable consumption, waste management and environmental science.

Lord de Mauley entered the House of Lords in 2002, and was the first peer to obtain an elective hereditaries’ seat in the house, after winning a Conservative hereditary peer’s election in 2005.


He was appointed as an opposition whip in 2009, carrying out the role until the election of the coalition government in 2010. He has acted as a government whip in the Lords since 2010, as well as acting as spokesman for environment, food and rural affairs issues during that time.

Educated at Eton, Lord de Mauley’s family has a farming background, and he served in the Territorial Army between 1976 and 2005, rising to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in 2003. His entry in the House register of members’ interests includes farmland and property in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

Lord De Mauley’s full portfolio at Defra will be:

  • Climate change adaptation
  • Environmental impacts of climate change mitigation (including biofuels)
  • Environmental regulation (including deputising for the Secretary of State at EU Environment Council)
  • Sustainable consumption and production
  • Waste management
  • Air quality
  • Noise and litter
  • Welfare of companion and wild animals (including circuses, dangerous dogs and zoos)
  • Localism and civil society
  • Environmental science
  • Nanotechnology
  • Pesticides, chemicals and industrial pollution
  • Genetically modified organisms
  • Plant and bee health
  • Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
  • Food and Environment Research Agency


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