Liz Truss sacks Boris and Carrie’s pal Zac Goldsmith as he loses his job as an environment minister – but Tory peer will remain in Government at Foreign Office
- New PM Liz Truss continues Government reshuffle by sacking Lord Goldsmith
- He loses role as environment minister but will continue job in Foreign Office
- Multi-millionaire environmentalist is close friend of Boris and Carrie Johnson
Liz Truss has continued her reshuffle of Government ranks by sacking Zac Goldsmith from his role as an environment minister.
The Tory peer will no longer oversee policy on animal welfare and the international envirnment.
But Number 10 sources confirmed the former MP is expected to remain in Government by retaining his position at the Foreign Office, where he is minister for the Pacific.
Lord Goldsmith is close to Ms Truss’s predecessor Boris Johnson, as well as the ex-prime minister’s wife Carrie Johnson.
Fears have been expressed that his removal from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs signals a downgrading of animal welfare as a Government priority.
During the early part of his premiership, Mr Johnson hailed his Government’s record in improving animal welfare.
But he later abandoned plans to ban imports of fur and foie gras as he attempted to shore up support among Tory backbenchers.
Boris Johnson handed Lord Goldsmith his peerage shortly after the 2019 general election so he could continue to serve as a Government minister despite losing his Commons seat
Carrie Johnson, pictured campaigning in 2017, is also a close personal friend of Lord Goldsmith
Mr Johnson handed Lord Goldsmith his peerage shortly after the 2019 general election, in which the multi-millionaire environmentalist lost his Richmond Park seat to the Liberal Democrats.
This allowed Lord Goldsmith to remain as a Government minister in Mr Johnson’s administration.
Last year, it was revealed how Mr and Mrs Johnson enjoyed a free holiday when they stayed at a holiday home of Lord Goldsmith’s family in southern Spain.
Photos emerged of Mr Johnson painting at an easel while enjoying his break at the Goldsmith villa, which was claimed to usually cost as much as £25,000 a week to rent.
Mrs Johnson is also a close personal friend of Lord Goldsmith, who she worked for in her first job in politics.
The Guardian reported that Lord Goldsmith, as well as losing his job as an environment minister, has also been stripped of his right to attend Cabinet meetings.
In a farewell letter to Defra staff, seen by the newspaper, Lord Goldsmith said he was ‘very sad’ to be leaving after a ‘whirlwind’ three years.
He listed his achievements, including on forestry, plastic pollution and the oceans.
One Tory MP expressed fears that Lord Goldsmith’s exit from Defra could mean Ms Truss is planning to drop the Kept Animals Bill.
The legislation is intended to crack down on puppy smuggling, ban the keeping of primates as pets, and to increase protections for farm animals.
The MP said: ‘Liz might abandon it. She had no interest in animal welfare while a minister in Defra.’
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