Just five years after taking her seat in the House of Commons, South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss has a top cabinet job.

David Cameron’s cabinet reshuffle this week has seen Ms Truss promoted to one of the highest-profile jobs in government.

Representing a predominantly rural area, including Downham Market, where she lives, and Swaffham, Ms Truss should have little difficulty in understanding the problems faced by the agricultural and coastal economy.

Flood defences are just one of the areas she now has responsibility for and as West Norfolk was badly hit in December, the topic will be fresh in her mind.

“I am delighted to be appointed as Environment Secretary. I look forward to tackling the important issues facing our rural communities including championing British food, protecting people from flooding and improving the environment.

“I have greatly enjoyed my role at the Department for Education and would like to thank the excellent team there for all their hard work. I look forward to working with the team at Defra,” she said.

Until this week she was an Under-Secretary of State for education and championed the teaching of maths at all levels.

Ms Truss, who is married with two daughters, was selected for the SW Norfolk seat in 2009, although her nomination was not unanimously supported by the local party.

But she prevailed and won the seat in the 2010 general election – five years after failing to win a seat at Calder Valley. She first stood in 2001 at Hemsworth.