Conservative Party Conference Speech

It was a great pleasure to stand before Conference yesterday and speak as part of Theresa May’s first Cabinet, and part of a Government that is building a country that works for everyone.

As Environment Secretary, I feel I have a key role to play – not just in seizing the opportunities that await us outside the EU, but also in making sure we are the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than we found it.

This is a job I am passionate about – I don’t think anything can be more important than the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we rely on.

The Conservatives have always been the party of the environment, and it is at the heart of our political philosophy. It was a Conservative government that created one of the first Environment Departments in the world, a Conservative government that led global efforts on tackling the hole in the ozone layer and that made the case for action on climate change, and a Conservative government that established a national forest, regenerating thousands of acres of industrial land in the Midlands.

Working closely with me, we’ve got a superb team at the Department:

  • George Eustice – our food and farming minister, who’s a real champion of our world-class farming and fishing industries.

  • Thérèse Coffey – our environment and rural life opportunities minister, who’s taking forward our highly ambitious plans for the environment.

  • And, John Gardiner – our Lords minister for rural affairs and biosecurity, who’s working hard to make sure our country is safe from animal and plant disease.

This team is fully focussed on serving our country.

I believe our best days lie ahead, and that’s why we’re putting in place the policies to deliver:

  • A rural economy that works for everyone.

  • A natural environment that works for everyone.

  • A country that works for everyone.

You can watch my full speech below.