Rishi Sunak restored his cabinet on Tuesdaysplitting two departments to better suit his promises to boost the economy, cut energy prices and turn around his party’s fortunes ahead of an election next year in the UK.
The prime minister created a new energy security office, headed by the former economy minister Grant Shapps, and three other departments, one of them focused on science and innovation, a personal passion of the British leader. Also, he named Greg Hands new chairman of the “Tory” party -a mostly administrative post-.
Sunak assigned the new Energy Security and Zero Emissions portfolio to Grant Shapps -until now company owner-; that of Science, Innovation and Technology to Michelle Donelan -former of Culture- already kemi badenoch the responsibility of Company and Commerce.
Meanwhile, the minister without portfolio Lucy Frazer will be the new head of Culture, Media and Sport, Downing Street said in a statement.
Hands, until now Secretary of State for Trade, will thus replace Nadhim Zahawirecently expelled from his position for having breached the ministerial code as a result of a scandal over fiscal irregularities during his time as head of Finance.
The former finance minister and billionaire, who once worked for a hedge fund, is trying to pull the economy out of a long period of double-digit inflation and stagnation, a situation aggravated by the escalation of the cost of energy.
In a statement, the Executive explained that the new Department of Energy Security and Net Zero will have the task of “ensuring long-term energy supply for the United Kingdom” as well as “lowering bills and inflation.”
The also recently created Science, Innovation and Technology portfolio “will promote innovation that will bring better public services, It will create new, better-paying jobs and grow the economy.”details the note.
It also underlines that the Ministry of Business and Trade “will support growth by supporting British businesses at home and abroad, promoting investment and championing free trade.”
Following the announcement, the newly appointed minister for the Department for Energy Security and Zero Emissions, Grant Shapps, said he will focus on “to ensure long-term energy supply, lowering bills and, consequently, helping to reduce inflation”.
Sunat is also under pressure to try to show Britain can reap the benefits of leaving the European Union (EU) by developing new trade ties with international partners.
“Government has to reflect the priorities of the British people and be designed to deliver,” Sunak said on Twitter. “These changes will focus teams on the issues that will build a better future for our children and grandchildren.”
Since his arrival at Downing Street in October, Sunak has come under pressure to make his point, with some in his party questioning his overmanagement and lack of vision for Britain.
So far it has failed to reduce the lead in Labor Party opinion polls.
Tim Balea professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London, said while some investors welcomed the move, he did not believe the departmental changes would make “a difference to their luck in the next election.”
“I’m sure he will only be accused of ordering the Titanic chairs,” he added.
(With information from Reuters and EFE)
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