Paterson to replace Spelman as environment secretary

Owen Paterson will replace Caroline Spelman as environment secretary, number 10 has announced.

The Conservative MP for North Shropshire moves across from the Northern Ireland office. He has some front bench experience on the environment from a stint as shadow minister for agriculture, fisheries and food from 2003 to 2005.

Paterson has previously called for the exemption of all micro businesses from red tape, an end to energy subsidies and fast-tracked exploitation of shale gas.

Spelman presided over the introduction of a draft water bill before the summer recess. The industry will want to know whether Paterson can push that agenda on and get it before parliament in the next session.