Thérèse Coffey. OGL

Thérèse Coffey. OGL

A proponent of selling off England’s public forests has been appointed a junior minister in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Thérèse Coffey replaces Rory Stewart as parliamentary under secretary of state at Defra in PM Theresa May’s latest ministerial appointments.

Mr Stewart, largely seen as sympathetic to the cause of outdoor pursuits and national parks, is promoted to be minister of state at the Department for International Development.

Ms Coffey will serve under Secretary of State Andrea Leadsom, who once pledged to repeal foxhunting, though Ms May is said to be lukewarm on the idea.

Ms Coffey, the Conservative MP for Suffolk Coastal, voted in February 2011 in favour of the coalition Government selling public forests and woodland, a move that was subsequently dropped after widespread protests.

She formerly worked for food company Mars and is a supporter of Liverpool Football Club and a member of the Campaign for Real Ale. Ms Coffey backed the remain camp in the recent EU membership referendum and is a fan of the Devon rockers Muse.

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