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Nearly a week after the general election, “business as usual” has started to resume. David Cameron has announced his Cabinet and talk of opposition/fringe party leader elections have been confirmed or in the case of UKIP, rejected.
Getting the Government ball back in motion is now priority for Cameron, with notable impending dates looming; Parliament will return on 18 May and the Queen’s Speech will be given on 27 May.
Full ministerial appointments are expected to be completed by the end of May but with sitting Cabinet positions completed, the NFDA Policy Department has put together an overview of some of the key announcements and details to emerge since the shock Conservative majority was declared last Friday.
On Monday (11 May), David Cameron, newly re-elected Prime Minister appointed (and tweeted) his new Cabinet. With several positions now available following the fall of the Liberal Democrats, this would be the first all Conservative Cabinet for 18 years.
Notable new appointees include:
What is expected:
On Tuesday (12 May); Javid stated that there will be “significant changes” to strike laws under the new Conservative government, a commitment made by the Tory party in their manifesto and one that has been reinforced in the media throughout the week. Sajid confirmed that these changes will be announced in the Queen’s speech taking place later this month (27 May).
BIS will continue to work closely with the Department for Education, bringing to reality the three million promised apprenticeships, a key promise during the election campaign. Nick Boles will continue as Minister of State at the Department of Education and BIS and Sajid Javid, as head of the department, will be expected to lead the way and champion the scheme.
Another major priority at the top of Javid’s agenda will be ‘easing fears in boardrooms about the implications of an in/out referendum’. As the Guardian reported on Monday (11 May), the ‘in/out’ referendum and infrastructure projects are two of the biggest issues that the new Business Secretary will have to face and ‘he can count on business leaders’ intense lobbying’. It is interesting to note that Javid, a close ally with Chancellor George Osborne, has a ‘sceptical yet pragmatic view of Europe, supporting membership provided that the negotiations are successful’ much the same as the Chancellor.
Word on the street:
What is expected:
During the election campaign, the party published its Small Business Manifesto which David Cameron himself launched in the City of London (April). The manifesto was launched on the same day that the Telegraph published an open letter from around 5,000 small business owners calling for a Conservative government to “finish what they have started”; although this was criticised as it emerged the party was heavily involved in the letter.
It is the promises laid down in that manifesto that Anna Soubry will be expected to produce during her time as Small Business Minister. Key features of the Small Business Manifesto included:
Word on the street:
Overview – what do the departments look like now…
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)
Department for Transport (DfT)
Some key responsibilities are:
The DfT will only have to welcome one new face into the DfT, Andrew Jones.
Returning MP for Harrogate, with a huge majority of 16,371, Andrew Jones, has expressed plans to ensure that the North’s voice is heard in Transport Policy, stating in an interview that “[t]his is a national role but I do think we haven’t had our fair share of investment in the North and I will make sure the voice from the North is heard much more fully in future.”
HM Treasury (HMT)
A notable change in HMT is the appointment for Greg Hands as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. The former deputy Chief Whip replaces Liberal Democrat, Danny Alexander. Hands is MP for the constituency of Chelsea and Fulham, he won his seat with 62.95% of the votes, a 16,022 majority. Originally born in New York, he studied History at Robinson College, Cambridge.
This is not the first time Hands has worked with Osborne; after being re-elected in the 2010 general election (Chelsea and Fulham), he served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Osborne, having shadowed the Treasury in Opposition.
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