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The Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP: Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Hilary BennHilary Benn MP was appointed as Secretary of State on 28 June 2007.


The Secretary of State:

  • has overall responsibility for all Departmental issues;
  • represents the UK at the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council and at the EU Environment Council; and
  • leads for the UK in other international negotiations on sustainable development.


Born in 1953, Hilary Benn attended Holland Park Comprehensive School and received a degree from the University of Sussex in 1974. He served for 20 years on Ealing Borough Council, becoming the youngest ever Chair of the Education Committee and Deputy Leader of the Council.

In June 1999, he was elected as Member of Parliament for Leeds Central. In June 2001, he was appointed as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development. Between May 2002 and May 2003, he was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Community and Custodial provision at the Home Office. In May 2003 he was appointed as Minister of State for International Development and in October that year was made Secretary of State for International Development. He also served as the Prime Minister’s Africa personal representative.

Hilary Benn MP was appointed as Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs on 28 June 2007.

Page last modified: 22 June 2009
Page published: 28 June 2007