Ex-MP Zac Goldsmith stays as environment minister

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Zac Goldsmith at the Richmond Park countImage source, PA Media

The former Conservative candidate for London mayor Zac Goldsmith has been given a seat in the House of Lords.

He lost his Richmond Park seat to the Liberal Democrats in the general election.

He will stay in his ministerial role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for International Development.

Mr Goldsmith has been given a life peerage.

The move follows the decision to award a peerage to Nicky Morgan so she could retain her position as culture secretary despite standing down as an MP.

Liberal Democrat Sarah Olney, who beat Mr Goldsmith at a 2016 by-election but lost to him in the 2017 general election, won a 7,766 vote majority over the environment minister.

Mr Goldsmith's strong support for Brexit was seen as a leading factor in his defeats in the heavily-Remain outer London constituency.