STROUD MP David Drew is to join Labour's frontbench as a shadow farming and rural affairs minister.

This will be Mr Drew's first frontbench position despite his many years in parliament.

"It's a frontbench job in the areas I've always been most interested in - Farming and Rural.  

"At a time when Brexit means a new agriculture policy this is a very exciting job."

Asked as to what issues he is most focused on Mr Drew said: "Redesigning both Farming and Rural Policy in the wake of Brexit is enough of a challenge."

The Stroud MP was offered the job by the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a week ago.

Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn has said of the new appointments: "I’m delighted to be filling Labour’s shadow frontbench with a wealth of talent.

"Our new shadow ministers will bolster the excellent work of Labour’s shadow cabinet and departmental teams.

"These appointments are further evidence that Labour is not just the opposition – we are the government in waiting."

Meanwhile in Mr Drew's column for the SNJ this past week he that in regard to Brexit he would be very interested in rural issues.

"I will take a particularly close interest in the reform of agriculture, partly because of my long-term interest in farming but also because of the nature of the Stroud constituency." he said.

"One benefit is that we might be able to revisit rural policy, something that is long overdue."

Stroud Constituency Labour Party has congratulated David Drew on his appointment.

A spokesman said: "We are pleased and proud to see his talents and commitment to rural communities get national recognition.  

"This area is well known for promoting food and farming, which are a vital part of the character and economy of the county. 

"We are pleased that Stroud will be in the national spotlight on these issues.

"David is being fully supported by staff team and will continue, as he did for 13 years until 2010, to be a hard working local representative - opening offices and running surgeries, so that constituents can contact him easily."

In his role as a shadow rural affairs minister he will be holding the government to account with these issues during the brexit negotiations.

He will be shadowing the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) with Holly Lynch MP for Halifax in West Yorkshire.

Mr Drew was a backbencher during the 13 years he spent in parliament between 1997 and 2010, but he was re-elected at the election in June.