GEORGE Eustice has been re-appointed as Farming Minister.

He held the post for four years before standing down in February so he could be free to speak about Brexit - he was unhappy about the slow progress of negotiations.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson re-appointed him late on Thursday night. Mr Eustice, MP for Camborne and Redruth, is from a farming background. His family runs a fruit farm, restaurant and farm shop in Cornwall where they have a herd of South Devon cattle and the country's oldest herd of British Lop rare breed pigs.

He replaced Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby, who was in post for five months.

Mr Johnson made Therese Coffey Minister of State for the environment and, on Saturday, appointed Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston, as under secretary of state at Defra and at the Department for International Development. He replaced David Rutley who was responsible for food and animal welfare.

Phil Stocker, chief executive of the National Sheep Association (NSA), welcomed the return of Mr Eustice. He said: "He clearly has a great depth of experience and interest in farming."

He also thanked Mr Goodwill for "his positive engagement over the last few months. Robert only held this role for some five months, but it was clear he had a real passion and interest for farming and food production."

He continued: "NSA now calls for further progress with the Agriculture Bill, and with agreements with devolved nations to ensure we have connected and coherent agricultural and land management policies to ensure our success."

Tim Breitmeyer, president of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) welcomed the appointment of Theresa Villiers as Environment Secretary.She replaced Michael Gove who was given the key role of overseeing no deal Brexit preparations across Whitehall.

He said: "We look forward to working together to ensure a healthy farming sector can help to meet the environmental challenges we collectively face, while delivering a prosperous rural economy.

"We’ve noted Mrs Villiers’ recent comments on a no deal Brexit and resulting WTO tariffs, but we know there are many farmers across the country with grave concerns. Currently 60 per cent of our food exports go to the EU. Were draconian tariffs put in place, world class British produce would become uncompetitive in our largest market overnight.

"Having said that, there are also tremendous opportunities. We are global leaders in producing quality food to high environmental and welfare standards. As landowners we are key to meeting ambitions on climate change and the environment. The rural economy has extraordinary potential ready to be unleashed. But only an ambitious, creative and robust policy platform will support all of this."

Mr Breitmeyer also welcomed Nicky Morgan as Secretary of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

He said: "At the top of her inbox will be a proposal from mobile operators on delivering a single rural network to increase 4G coverage in the countryside. We made a consistent case to her predecessor that any proposals need to be legally binding, should be robustly monitored and require operators to publish roll-out plans. The focus should be on improving coverage as soon as possible."

On the appointment of Robert Jenrick as Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, he said: "Changes to planning will be key, but there are huge opportunities in empowering appropriate development in villages across the countryside.

"Much of this needs to be focused on affordable housing, enabling more to live and work locally. This will provide a much needed boost to rural economies and go some way to reversing the long-term decline of many of our villages."