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New transport minister to take charge of decarbonisation and environment

Thu 08 August 2019 | Back to news list

The LowCVP has written a letter to welcome new minister, George Freeman MP, who will lead on 'decarbonisation and environment' as well as transport technology and innovation and OLEV amongst other responsibilities. Baroness Vere of Norbiton takes on responsibility for freight, buses and taxis as part of the new Boris Johnson Government. The details of ministerial responsibilities were announced in August following the appointments in July.

Following the election of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister on 23 July a wide-ranging reshuffle of the Government resulted in four new ministers joining the Department for Transport. The new Secretary of State is Grant Shapps MP and there are two new Ministers of State: George Freeman MP and Chris Heaton-Harris MP. Existing Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State, Nusrat Ghani MP and Baroness Vere of Norbiton are joined by Paul Maynard MP. Meanwhile, the journalist Andrew Gilligan has been appointed as transport advisor to the new PM.

The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP was elected the Conservative MP for Welwyn Hatfield in 2005. He was formerly Minister of State at Department for International Development from May 2015 until November 2015. He graduated from Manchester Polytechnic with a business and finance diploma.

Grant Shapps was appointed Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party in 2005, before being made Shadow Housing Minister in June 2007. Following the 2010 election, he served as Minister of State for Housing and Local Government in the Department for Communities and Local Government. He was appointed to the Privy Council in June 2010. In September 2012 he was appointed as co-chairman to the Conservative Party. At the same time he held the position of Minister without Portfolio at the Cabinet Office.

Outside politics he founded PrintHouse Corporation, a design, print, website creation and marketing business in London.

George Freeman MP was elected Conservative MP for Mid Norfolk in 2010. Prior to his appointment at the Department for Transport, he served as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Life Sciences at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department of Health from July 2014 until July 2016. He also served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of State for Climate Change from 2010 to 2011.

In July 2011, he was appointed government adviser on Life Sciences, co-ordinating the Government’s Life Science and Innovation, Health and Wealth Strategies (2011), and the Agri-Tech Industrial Strategy (2013). He was appointed the Prime Minister’s UK Trade Envoy in 2013.  

New ministers have also been appointed to other departments with influence over the climate change and sustainability agendas including BEIS under Secretary of State, Andrea Leadsom MP (link); Defra, under Theresa Villiers MP (link) and the Treasury, under new Chancellor Sajid Javid (link) . 


Related news: In a separate development, the new Prime Minister has appointed the journalist Andrew Gilligan, who was 'cycling tsar' when Johnson was Mayor of London to be his transport adviser.

The Sunday Times' senior correspondent (who will likely relinquish that role) is credited with being most responsible for pushing through London’s protected cycleway program. He is known to have strong views on cycling and on the ills of mass motorization. Last year he told Cyclist magazine (reported by Forbes) that the “vast majority of road space is given to the least efficient users of it.”

Gilligan is also known as a strong opponent of the high-speed rail line HS2.

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