May names new Northern Powerhouse minister
Prime Minister Theresa May’s reshuffle has seen several new names appointed to oversee policies in the built environment and the North, including different ministers for the Northern Powerhouse and housing.
Yesterday, the Government announced that Andrew Percy MP, minister for Brigg and Goole in East Yorkshire, would be taking over as Northern Powerhouse minister from James Wharton, MP for Stockton South. Wharton has now moved into the Department for International Development.
May was sworn in as Prime Minister on Wednesday, and swiftly executed a raft of ministerial changes.
Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth, was replaced as minister for housing and planning by Gavin Barwell MP, representative for Croydon Central. Barwell will also hold the post of minister for London.
Chris Grayling, member for Epsom and Eawell, Surrey, took over as minister for transport from Patrick McLoughlin, MP for Derbyshire Dales. McLoughlin has become the Chancellor for the Duchy of Lancaster.
Greg Clark, outgoing Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government, was replaced by Sajid Javid, MP for Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.
Clark is a long-term supporter of devolution and played a leading role in many of the deals to transfer powers to local authorities across the country. He will now hold the position of Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.
May’s reshuffle has been seen as potentially putting the Government’s Northern Powerhouse agenda at risk, with Northern names replaced by ministers with Southern constituencies. The most high-profile departure has been that of George Osborne, MP for Tatton and proponent of the Northern Powerhouse during his time as Chancellor of the Exchequer, who was sent back to the backbenches last Wednesday. He was replaced by Philip Hammond, MP for Runnymede and Weybridge, Surrey.