And what is the point of David Heath? Who is David Heath, you might ask?
David Heath is the single Lib Dem Minister in Defra and he is the middle-ranking Minister between the boss-man Owen Paterson (excellent at giving out prizes to pork pie people we hear) and Richard Benyon (excellent at disliking cormorants, buzzards and wildlife NGOs, it seems).
David Heath does not appear (note that I say appear) to have made a speech on behalf of Defra since he became a Minister – if he has the Government’s whizzy new(-ish) website gov.uk isn’t admitting it. After all, he only has agriculture as his brief so he hasn’t really got anything to say. See if you can find one here – I couldn’t but i could find speeches by Paterson, Benyon, Paice and Spelman – and a lord.
I could find Mr Heath (he must have got the job because of his name – sounds very bucolic doesn’t it?) when I searched on expenses. In the first three months of this year Owen Paterson had dinner with the NFU a couple of times and spent £828 on a day trip to Dublin by a scheduled flight – really? Wasn’t Easyjet then was it? Maybe it was Ryanair and he was charged £800 extra for carrying a red box?
But David Heath cost us £6000+ for a trip to Dubai (the form says it was a day trip which seems unlikely) and £2500 for a trip to Bangkok. He doesn’t seem to talk to us but he must have something to say abroad, surely? I think we should be told.