DESPITE the political turmoil gripping Westminster, Michael Gove remains unmoved from his position at the helm of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to the satisfaction of the National Sheep Association.

Welcoming Theresa May's decision to appoint Dominic Raab as the new Secretary of State for the Department for Exiting the European Union – and leave Mr Gove where he is – NSA called on the Defra secretary to work closely with Mr Raab to highlight the importance of agriculture in the Brexit negotiations.

This would be in line with the negotiating position agreement made by the Cabinet last Friday, which seemingly values British agricultural interests highly, and that Mr Gove came out in support of over the weekend.

NSA chief executive Phil Stocker said: “It would appear Mr Gove is currently supporting a view that we, and many others, have said is best for the UK sheep industry – free and frictionless trade with the EU even if it means accepting a closer relationship than some would like.

"Friday’s Cabinet agreements will not please everyone but, with just eight months to go before we leave, pragmatism is setting in and I hope the new Brexit Secretary will support this position too.”

Following David Davis’ resignation late on Sunday night, there was some speculation as to whether Mr Gove would be in line for the job. NSA reiterated its position that Mr Gove must stay where he is for the foreseeable future, regardless of any other resignations or reshuffles, to ensure consistency through the difficult EU withdrawal negotiation period.

Mr Stocker added: “Farming and the environment need stability at this stage, and they will be key industry and public interest areas as we go through future changes that will need special consideration rather than fit into the standard mould.”