This week I've been at home with Covid-19. Earlier this morning I tendered my resignation as Environment Minister. Values, integrity and the morals by which I live are at stake, and the needs of the country must always come first. A copy of my letter to the Prime Minister can be found below:
10 Downing Street
London 7th July 2022
Dear Prime Minister
It is with a heavy heart that I have been motivated to write this letter to tender my resignation as Environment Minister. I had hoped this day would not come but the events of past days in particular mean that I believe your position is no longer tenable. I have to put values, integrity and the moral code by which I live and which I have taught my own children to live by first, and those qualities have been sadly lacking in too many decisions coming from the top despite many chances to correct matters.
I have enormous respect for your initial election victory for delivering Brexit and for leading us through the pandemic and for recognising that environmental issues and climate change had to rise up the agenda. However, too much has changed, and the Party and the good of the country has to come first and I fear under your leadership it has veered too far off course.
I waited until this moment partly because I am actually at home suffering from Covid and partly because I thought you would do the right thing and step aside for the good of the Party and the Country; but this has not transpired and now is time for me with great sadness to step down from the role that is in essence my life's dream, the culmination of my life's experiences, and where I believe was making a difference for all of our futures.
It has been the honour of my life to serve as environment minister for this country under the Conservative Party. It is my greatest achievement to have steered the Environment Bill through Parliament over a 2-year period and to subsequently be working on all that it delivers which will set us on a sustainable trajectory for future generations. It is an enormous accolade that this has happened under the Conservative Party something we can be proud of.
I have been privileged to work with an exceptional team of civil servants who have supported all that we have achieved in the DEFRA department, and I want to thank each and every one of them from the bottom of my heart and give a huge thank you to my wonderful, focused and talented private office too.
I will now continue to focus on my constituency of Taunton Deane, which I have done since being honoured to be elected to their representative in 2015. Under the Conservatives much has been delivered in this area which is also my home and under a sound Conservative government I know much more can and will be achieved. I would like to place on record my deep appreciation to my family who have supported me over the years.
Member of Parliament for Taunton Deane