Maskell appointed as shadow Defra secretary

Rachael Maskell MP for York Central has been appointed as Labour’s new shadow secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs, which includes responsibility for air quality issues.

The 43-year-old had said she was committed to Britain remaining a member of the European Union. She has also said the EU is good for ‘jobs, higher education and the local York economy.’

Defra's new shadow secretary of state Rachael Maskell

Defra’s new shadow secretary of state Rachael Maskell. Pic.

Ms Maskell is thought to have some knowledge of air quality, as York city council has an Air Quality Management Area in the city. It was the first authority in the UK to trial a new fuel additive across its vehicle fleet, which it hopes will reduce diesel emissions and result in savings of up to £50,000 a year. (See airqualitynews story).


The city last year also secured £475,000 in government funding to help convert five older buses to electric. (See airqualitynews story).

Ms Maskell takes over from Bristol East MP Kerry McCarthy, who has resigned in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.


The new shadow Defra secretary of state, Ms Maskell was elected at last year’s general election — and until today was shadow defence minister.

She is a former Unite union national officer, who led campaigns on issues including the equality agenda, discrimination and equal pay.

In parliament the Labour representative has supported a progressive living wage, skilled jobs, a sustainable city, affordable housing and to integrate health and social care services.


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