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Councils cheer as Greg Clark replaces Eric Pickles – full list of new Government

Councils cheer as Greg Clark replaces Eric Pickles – full list of new Government

🕔11.May 2015

The local government world was breathing a sigh of relief this evening following the departure of combative Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, replaced by former Cities Minister Greg Clark, reports Paul Dale.

Mr Clark is an enthusiastic supporter of devolution for English cities and city regions and has a good working relationship with many local politicians including the Labour leader of Birmingham city council Sir Albert Bore.

He is also supportive of elected mayors, where local communities are in favour of such a move.

One of his first tasks will be to decide which cities and combined authorities are deemed competent enough to follow Greater Manchester and benefit from wide-ranging devolved powers and budgets.

Greater Birmingham’s chances of joining the top tier of authorities regarded as capable of coping with a devolved structure rest on reaching approval on forming a combined authority. Birmingham and the Black Country councils are keen to move ahead, but Solihull and Coventry remain undecided.

Mr Clark’s appointment, which the Chamberlain Files predicted this morning, was broadly welcomed by councils. Local Government Chronicle said his appointment was an indication that cities and devolution will be at the heart of the Government’s agenda.

News of Mr Clark’s job came during a day of reshuffle (or mainly reappointment) announcements from Downing Street.

Patrick McLoughlin, an outspoken supporter of HS2, remains Transport Secretary in a move which is likely to be welcomed by transport bodies and backers of the high speed line.

Boris Johnson is in the cabinet but only as a political adviser and will not hold a ministerial position.

Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid has been promoted from Culture Secretary to Business Secretary by the Prime Minister.

Iain Duncan Smith will remain as Work and Pensions Secretary where he will oversee the new Conservative government’s controversial plan to cut the welfare benefits bill by £12 billion.

John Whittingdale is the new Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Mr Whittingdale was an outspoken critic of the BBC when chair of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee and described the licence fee as “worse than the poll tax and unsustainable”.

The full list of Government appointments is as follows:

  • George Osborne becomes First Secretary of State and continues as Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • Theresa May continues as Home Secretary
  • Philip Hammond continues as Foreign Secretary
  • Michael Fallon continues as Secretary of State for Defence
  • Michael Gove becomes Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
  • Chris Grayling becomes Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
  • Nicky Morgan continues as Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities
  • Mark Harper becomes Chief Whip (Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury)
  • Baroness Stowell is promoted to Cabinet as Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
  • Amber Rudd becomes Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
  • Priti Patel becomes Minister of State (Minister for Employment) and attends Cabinet
  • Robert Halfon becomes Minister without Portfolio and attends Cabinet
  • Sajid Javid becomes Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
  • John Whittingdale becomes Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
  • Iain Duncan Smith continues as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
  • Patrick McLoughlin continues as Secretary of State for Transport
  • Liz Truss continues as Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
  • Anna Soubry becomes Minister of State (Minister for Small Business) and attends Cabinet
  • Greg Clark becomes Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government
  • Justine Greening continues as Secretary of State for International Development
  • Theresa Villiers continues as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
  • Jeremy Hunt continues as Secretary of State for Health
  • Stephen Crabb continues as Secretary of State for Wales
  • Greg Hands becomes Chief Secretary to the Treasury and will attend Cabinet
  • Matt Hancock MP becomes Minister for Cabinet Office and Paymaster General (Minister for Efficiency & Civil Service Reform)
  • David Mundell becomes Secretary of State for Scotland
  • Oliver Letwin is promoted to Cabinet as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in overall charge of Cabinet Office

Other ministers

  • Ros Altmann becomes Minister of State (Minister for Pensions) at the Department for Work and Pensions
  • Mark Francois becomes Minister of State at Department for Communities and Local Government
  • Penny Mordaunt becomes Minister for the Armed Forces and Minister of State at Ministry of Defence.

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