A leading figure with DEFRA is to join the Wine and Spirit Trade Association as its new chief executive.

Miles Beale, deputy director for EU and international agriculture policy with the department, will join the trade body in June.

Among other influential positions in Whitehall, Beale was also previously deputy director for European and global issues at the Cabinet Office.

“He brings with him extensive experience across government, which will help the industry navigate a broad range of policy issues impacting the sector at both UK and EU level,” said WSTA chairman Tim How.

Together we can chart an effective course between responsibility, growth and consumer choice Beale said: “I am delighted to be joining the WSTA team and look forward to supporting its members and the wine and spirit industry to maintain and improve its dialogue with government.” 

Gavin Partington will continue as interim chief executive, following the recent departure of  former boss Jeremy Beadles to Heineken.