Movers and shakers

We’re bringing you a round-up of the latest appointments for the shooting market

Last month, new Prime Minister Boris Johnson has named Theresa Villiers as the new Environment Secretary, replacing Michael Gove in a DEFRA reshuffle. 

Villiers is strongly pro-Brexit, and has a mixed record when voting on climate change measures. In 2015 she voted against a bill to set a target for the amount of CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases produced in the UK, and is a supporter of fracking for shale gas, as well as a badger cull. 

Theresa Villiers has been appointed Environment Secretary in Boris Johnson’s cabinet shake-up

After many years opposing the fox hunting ban, she announced a change of heart in 2017 and decided to support it. She had opposed the ban fearing it would damage the rural economy and way of life, but announced she hadn’t seen any “convincing evidence” that the ban had caused the job losses and economic damage some feared that it would.

“It is also the case that it has been possible for people to continue the sporting pastime of hunting with hounds, without actually chasing a fox,” Ms Villiers commented.

She added: “I have championed a number of the issues covered by the department, including animal welfare and improved air quality.”

“My new responsibilities will therefore complement many of my local campaigns in my constituency, such as protecting our green spaces. I am already hard at work prepared for Defra questions in Parliament.”

She previously served as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from September 2012 until July 2016, and was Minister of State for Transport from May 2010 until September 2012.

Tim Breitmeyer, CLA president, reacted to Boris Johnson’s new cabinet, and commented on the appointment of Theresa Villiers MP as Secretary of State at Defra.

“We welcome Mrs Villiers to her new role as Secretary of State at Defra,” 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.”

Meanwhile, Thérèse Coffey remains within Defra, moving from the parliamentary under-secretary of state to the minister of state.

George Eustice also stays at Defra, continuing his role as a second minister for state, which he has held since May 2015, with former mayor of London candidate Zac Goldsmith appointed as parliamentary under-secretary of state.

Lord Gardiner of Kimble remains as parliamentary under-secretary of state for rural affairs and biosecurity.

British Shooting’s Kevin Gill has left his role as head shotgun coach for the GB team. British Shooting have extended their thanks to Kevin for his contribution to shotgun shooting in Great Britain and internationally over many years.

British Shooting have also announced that two coaches will deputise as heads of the Olympic shotgun team in Kevin’s place. Marco Micheli and Chris Dean will work in partnership as they look to build on recent success at international level and will actively coach the world class programme athletes while also linking in with their personal coaches.

In 2012, Marco started with the ISSF Training Academy and is a qualified “A Licence” coach for shotgun. Meanwhile, Chris has been Olympic Trap coach throughout the Tokyo 2020 Olympic cycle.

He said: “I’m pleased that Marco is joining me on the coaching team at British Shooting. Together we are looking to build on the successes of the past few years, culminating in the fantastic World Championship results.

“I’m really looking forward to working with him to support our World Class Programme athletes to Tokyo and into the next Olympic cycle.”

Speaking of his appointment, Marco said: “I’m honoured to be part of the British Shooting team. It will be a pleasure to work with them to make the GB shooters shine at international level on the road to Tokyo and beyond, developing for the years to come.

British Shooting performance director, Steven Seligmann, added: “We are pleased to confirm the coaching structure that will support the Olympic Trap athletes within the World Class Programme and Great Britain.

“Chris and Marco will form an exciting partnership that will continue to enhance our training and competition environment, and ensure athletes are best supported to perform.”

Simon Hart MP has been appointed parliamentary secretary to the Cabinet Office. He is required by the Ministerial Code to give up all outside interests so has had to resign as chairman of the Countryside Alliance. Simon has served the Alliance in numerous roles including chief executive, board member and chairman for the last 20 years.

The Countryside Alliance chief executive, Tim Bonner, said: “There are few jobs in the Alliance that Simon has not filled over the last two decades and we would simply not be the force we are were it not for him.

From his leadership of the Campaign for Hunting through turbulent years of political battle, to guiding the Alliance through a period of profound change in the countryside as chief executive, to steering a route through the current political turmoil as chairman he has shaped the organisation and served our members tirelessly. 

“While Simon will be a great loss to us, we understand that taking up the challenge of his new role at such a time was irresistible.” The Countryside Alliance board has started the process of identifying a new chairman.

Meanwhile, Frederick Beesley have announced the addition of former Live Pigeon World Champion and gunmaking ‘heavyweight’, Dario Anguissola, to their team. 

Dario Anguissola

Dario joins as the head of global sales and production. To this role he brings 16 years of experience working with elite gunmakers, previously working in the Premium Gun Factory for Beretta and as head of sales for Fabbri. 

Tom Ward, Director of F Beesley, said: “With Dario’s experience he fits neatly into the niche market of bespoke gun building, offering the personal service required to ensure the clients’ experience matches F Beesley quality.”

Dario commented: “I am very excited to be joining such a wonderful and historic company on this project. I am very familiar with the manufacturing process and how important a great product is to the client, and with my experience I am looking forward to being a great asset to the company.” 

Dario will be based both in the UK and Italy and is available worldwide for meetings. 

For the best field sports news, reviews, industry and feature content, don’t forget to visit our sister publications Sporting Rifle, Bow International, Clay Shooting Magazine, Airgun Shooter. And our YouTube shows The Shooting Show and The Airgun Shooter

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