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Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss leaves Defra to become justice secretary

PUBLISHED: 13:58 14 July 2016 | UPDATED: 16:51 14 July 2016

Liz Truss arrives in Downing Street, London, for the final Cabinet meeting with David Cameron as Prime Minister.m Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Liz Truss arrives in Downing Street, London, for the final Cabinet meeting with David Cameron as Prime Minister.m Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss became the first female Lord Chancellor today after she was given the job of justice secretary.

The former environment secretary will be replaced at Defra by Andrea Leadsom, the Conservative leadership candidate who dramatically pulled out of the race earlier this week.

Ms Truss, the MP for South West Norfolk, has long been seen as a rising star after she joined the House of Commons when she was elected in 2010.

She was one of the first of her intake to get a government job as a junior childcare minister. In 2013 she was promoted to the job of environment secretary.

Ms Truss briefly posed for the bank of cameras after her appointment was confirmed, before she was whisked off in a Land Rover.

Questioned by waiting journalists about what she knew about justice, she said she had served on the justice select committee.

Arriving at the Ministry of Justice, Ms Truss said she was “delighted” at being appointed Justice Secretary. Asked if she had any plans, she said: “Well, it’s early days.”

It was confirmed shortly afterwards that Justine Greening was to take control at the Department for Education - a job Ms Truss had been tipped for.

On Twitter Ms Truss said: “Delighted to be appointed Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor. Looking forward to getting stuck in.

“Sad to be leaving Defra after two fantastic years. Great team and loved working with farmers, food producers and environmental groups.”

Farming leaders in East Anglia thanked Ms Truss for her work at Defra.

Robert Sheasby, regional director for the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) in East Anglia said: “We’ve worked closely with Elizabeth Truss in East Anglia, both in her role as constituency MP and as Defra secretary of state. I’d like to thank her for the contribution she has made and congratulate her on her new role.

“She recognises the importance of agriculture to Britain’s economy and has been a proud advocate of our region’s quality produce and farmers’ role in managing the countryside.

“I’m sure she will continue to liaise with NFU members in her South West Norfolk constituency and support measures to back British farming as we face the challenge of shaping a new domestic agricultural policy.”

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