This is response begins to clarify how Ministers are thinking about the Spending Review.

Farming Guardian ‘Farming Minister George Eustice has insisted there is no truth in the rumour Defra could be disbanded this autumn, but has shed new light on how it will respond to budget cuts, including recovering more of its costs. To read more go to:

Farming Minister George Eustice has insisted there are no plans to abolish Defra, in response to ‘scaremongering’ rumours doing the rounds about the Department’s future. Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference, Mr Eustice has shed more light on how Defra is planning to cope with harsh cuts coming his way, including a rationalisation of certain functions of the core Department and its agencies and recovering more costs for the work it does. Defra, along with other ‘non-ring-fenced’ Departments, is facing further cuts of 25 to 40 per cent under the Government’s November Comprehensive Spending Review, on the back of fierce reductions during five years of coalition Government.

Mr Eustice was asked at the Conservative Rural Affairs Group fringe meeting to comment on suggestions by Baroness Kate Parminter at the recent Liberal Democrat conference that Defra

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