The new Prime Minister Boris Johnson has continued his truly bizarre Cabinet appointments today by promoting a Tory MP who has repeatedly voted against measures to prevent climate change as the new Environment Secretary.
Johnson has appointed Theresa Villiers, a pro-Brexit MP who previously held the role of Secretary of State for Nothern Ireland under David Cameron, to replace Michael Gove as Environment Secretary.
Despite being promoted to oversee issues on the Environment, Villiers has repeatedly voted against measures to prevent climate change and her voting record shows that she is highly supportive of the hugely environmentally-damaging practice of fracking.
In 2015, Villiers voted against a bill to set a target for the amount of carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases the UK produced, and in 2012 she voted against a bill to require the Green Investment Bank to support a target of lower carbon emissions.
Also in 2015, Villiers voted against a bill which would have compelled fracking companies to obtain an environmental permit to carry out potentially environmentally damaging activities, and has also explicitly voted against a ban on the practice of fracking.
Villiers’ controversial voting record isn’t just consigned to matters on the environment, either, having also repeatedly voted to restrict welfare payments to the terminally ill, sick and disabled, and voted in favour of the bedroom tax – a policy linked to the deaths of numerous vulnerable people.
Villiers, who supported Brexit during the 2016 referendum, will join a whole host of anti-environment MPs – such as Priti Patel and Dominic Raab – in Boris Johnson’s new-look, hard-right Cabinet.