Ranil Jayawardena resigns as Environment Secretary as Sunak begins reshuffle

Ranil Jayawardena

Ranil Jayawardena

Sri Lankan born Ranil Jayawardena has resigned from his role as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs ahead of a to-be-expected cabinet reshuffling following the appointment of the UK’s new Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak.

“I know that you wish for a new team to join you in HM Government, so I write to stand aside,” he wrote to Sunak today (Tuesday, October 25).

Jayawardena offered his “congratulations” on Sunak’s appointment.

Jayawardena served as Environment Secretary from September 6, 2022, up until his resignation today.

In his resignation letter, he said he was “very grateful” to former Prime Minister Liz Truss for choosing him for the role and that he was “pleased to have laid the groundwork to ‘free our farmers’ and to continue protecting our environment”.

“After much work in my tenure, my successor will now be able to take forward the plans set in motion to improve our nation’s environmental land management schemes, making them easier for farmers to access, removing current areas of frustration, updating and replacing outdated regulations, and going further and faster to deliver the ambitions of the Conservative Party for food farming, climate and the environment,” he said.

“I will continue to work hard for the people of North East Hampshire, where it continues to be an enormous honour to serve as their local Member of Parliament,” he added.

“As it has been since 2015, I remain on their side.”

Jayawardena previously served as Minister for International Trade from May 2020 to September 2022. He was elected as the Conservative MP for North East Hampshire in 2015.