Greg Clark named business minister in reshuffle

By Matt Atherton

- Last updated on GMT

Greg Clark has been promoted to new business minister
Greg Clark has been promoted to new business minister

Related tags Renewable energy

Former communities and local government secretary Greg Clark has been named the new business minister, as new Prime Minister Theresa May announced her revitalised cabinet.

Clark has taken over the reins of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) department.

The department, formerly-named Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), has absorbed the Department for Energy and Climate Change. After his appointment, Clark confirmed he would be looking after climate change in his role at BEIS.

Clark said: I am thrilled to have been appointed to lead this new department charged with delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy, leading government's relationship with business, furthering our world-class science base, delivering affordable, clean energy and tackling climate change.”

James Court, head of policy and external affairs for the Renewable Energy Association (REA), reacted to Clark’s appointment:We are delighted Greg Clark has been appointed the new secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy.

‘Showed real vision’

“He previously showed real vision as the shadow energy secretary and we look forward to working with him once again in order to get things moving on the deployment of new renewable energy infrastructure.”

Elsewhere, former Conservative leader candidate, and ‘Leave’ campaigner, Andrea Leadsom was promoted to head up the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Leadsom replaced Liz Truss as environment secretary, while Truss takes ousted Michael Gove’s position as justice secretary.

Leadsom has joined minister of state George Eustice and parliamentary undersecretary of state Rory Stewart in the department.

With her promotion, Leadsom has been given responsibility of negotiating subsidies with the EU for British farmers.

National Farmers Union president Meurig Raymond said Leadsom would inherit a big task in the wake of the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

 “We need a simpler application process and improved delivery for BPS ​[Basic Payment Scheme]; we need a guarantee from government that agreements for farmers in agri-environment schemes will be honoured in full; we need a continuing commitment to the 25-year TB ​[tuberculosis] eradication strategy.”

‘A great story to tell’

Raymond added: “And above all, we hope that Mrs Leadsom will champion British food and farming. Our industry has a great story to tell and it’s an industry that is optimistic about meeting the challenges ahead.”

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds conservation director Martin Harper wrote an open letter to Leadsom, describing ways to help her restore UK biodiversity. Martin said: Rest assured, the RSPB is here to help you be a success for nature.”

Meanwhile, skills and apprenticeships has moved from the old BIS to The Department for Education, led by new Education Secretary Justine Greening. Greening takes over from Nicky Morgan, who joins Gove and former Chancellor George Osborne in being removed from the cabinet.

Cabinet reshuffle: key changes

  •  Chancellor – Philip Hammond
  • ‘Brexit’ Secretary – David Davis
  • International Trade – Liam Fox
  • Education Secretary – Justine Greening
  • Transport Secretary – Chris Grayling
  • Environment Secretary – Andrea Leadsom
  • Work and Pensions Secretary – Damian Green
  • Communities and Local Government – Sajid Javid
  • Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy – Greg Clark
  • International Development – Priti Patel

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