Parliamentary activity
Meetings and parliamentary engagements 
With the return of parliament, we have now recommenced our engagement programme.

We have two meetings on 5th July:

  • Peter Dowd MP Labour MP for Bootle – an area which has high levels of deprivation 
  • Henry Lee, Senior Parliamentary Assistant to Conservative MP Neil Parish – former chair of the Defra Committee, the Dairy APPG, and the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee.

We have one meeting scheduled for the 11th July:

  • Ian Mearns, Labour MP for Gateshead and former member of the Education Select Committee

Additionally, we are re-scheduling meetings with:

  • Labour MP Diana Johnson

We have also sent meeting requests to new MPs with interests related to school and nursery milk, drafted approaches to parliamentary candidates who supported us during the election campaign and were subsequently elected, and re-contacted MPs who we were in communication with prior to the election being called.

Election engagement

As noted in our last update, our engagement during the run-up to the election secured the support of 21 parliamentary candidates – six of whom were elected. These included Sir Vince Cable, leading contender to be the next leader of the Liberal Democrats. We have sent meeting requests to all of these MPs to ensure that they are properly briefed on the SNMA and its priorities, and are willing to support us in future.

New ministerial appointments

  • Michael Gove MP – Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra):

    Michael Gove entered Parliament in 2005, and most notably served as Education Secretary from 2010-2014. He also took a leading role in the ‘Leave’ side of the EU referendum campaign. Now, as Defra Secretary, he will lead efforts to replace the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy – through which the EU School Milk Scheme is currently funded – with a new domestic system. Although Farming Minister George Eustice, who is remaining in his post, will have the most direct responsibility for school milk subsidies, it is worth noting that one of Mr Gove’s final acts during his stint as Education Secretary was the launch of the most recent version of the School Food Standards for England. This means he will have a background knowledge of school nutrition, making his appointment a potentially positive development in our efforts to establish a new national school milk scheme.

  • Robert Goodwill MP – Minister of State for Children and Families (Department for Education):

    Robert Goodwin was elected as MP for Scarborough and Whitby in 2005. Prior to this, he served as an MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber from 1999-2004. A profound Eurosceptic, in Government he has served as a whip and as a transport minister. As Children’s Minister he will be responsible for school food and pupil health matters. This includes the School Food Standards, which are currently on the process of being revised.

  • Steve Brine MP – Under Secretary of State for Public Health and Primary Care (Department of Health).

    Steve Brine entered parliament in 2010. A former radio host, public relations expert and advisor to William Hauge, he has held a series of Parliamentary Private Secretary roles and served as an assistant government whip before this current appointment. He is ministerial lead for Public Health England, and as the minister responsible for the Eatwell Guide he will inherit significant controversy over its dairy intake recommendations.

Other key ministers, including Farming Minister George Eustice, have remained in their roles.

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