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Post Election round-upBack

RMIReport1Nearly 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.

Cabinet

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:

Sajid Javid

Position:

  • Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)

Previous Posts:

  • Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport from 2014 to 2015
  • Minister for Equalities in 2014
  • Financial Secretary to the Treasury from 2013 to 2014
  • Economic Secretary from 2012 to 2013

Constituency:

  • Bromsgrove (Worcestershire)
  • Received 28,133 votes – an increase of 5,221 on the amount of votes he polled in 2010.

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:

  • Sajid Javid hung his portrait of Margaret Thatcher in his office at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport when he took over the job in 2013, turning down the chance to decorate his wall with a piece from the Government art collection.
  • He helped to found the Free Enterprise Group, whose members have called for smaller Government and less business regulation.
  • Mr Javid has previously said that leaving the EU “isn’t something that I’d be afraid of, I’d embrace the opportunities that would create”.
  • The Business Secretary has been tipped as a potential future leader of the Tory party.
  • Unlike Cameron and another new member of the Cabinet, Boris Johnson, Javid was not privately educated and did not study at Oxbridge.
  • Before embarking on his career in politics, Mr Javid was an investment banker for Chase Manhattan Bank in New York and Deutsche Bank. He was made a managing director of Deutsche Bank in 2009.

Anna Soubry

Position:

  • Minister for Small Businesses (BIS)

Previous posts:

  • Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence from 2014 – 2015
  • Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Ministry of Defence 2013 – 2014
  • Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Department of Health 2012 – 2013

Constituency:

  • Broxtowe (Nottinghamshire)
  • Soubry’s majority leaped from just under 400 to 4,287 in a victory she called “spectacular”.

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:

  • Cutting red tape by £10bn during the next parliament
  • Increase the number of start-up loans three-fold
  • Help to Grow Scheme which will look to enable businesses to grow from small to medium-size businesses.
  • Raising the target for SME’s share of central government procurement to one third.
  • Establishing a new Small Business Conciliation service to mediate in disputes, especially over late payment.
  • A review of business rates, to help high street businesses that are “striving and grafting and trying to do their best”.

Word on the street:

  • Previously worked as a television journalist (on ITV’s This Morning) and criminal barrister.
  • When asked by the Nottingham Post if she would be back in 2020 to run again, Ms Soubry replied: “God, I’ll be 63. Who knows? Let’s just get through the next five years, or the next five minutes.”
  • She’s been dubbed by the press as the ‘topsy-turvy Tory’ who is ‘turning stereotypes upside down’.

Overview – what do the departments look like now…

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)

  • Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, and President of the Board of Trade – Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP
  • Minister of State (Trade and Investment) – Rt Hon Francis Maude (jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office)
  • Minister of State – Anna Soubry MP (attends cabinet)
  • Minister of State – Nick Boles MP (jointly with the Department for Education)
  • Minister of State – Ed Vaizey MP (jointly with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
  • Minister of State – Jo Johnson MP
  • Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – George Freeman MP (jointly with the Department of Health)

Department for Transport (DfT)

Some key responsibilities are:

  • Secretary of State for Transport – Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP
  • Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Robert Goodwill MP
    • High Speed Rail HS2
    • Europe and International Transport
    • Devolution
  • Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Claire Perry MP
    • Rail
  • Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Andrew Jones MP
    • Northern Power House
    • Environment
    • OLEV
    • Connected Vehicles
    • Technology and Innovation
    • Freight and Logistics
    • National Road and Highways England
    • Road Safety

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)

  • First Secretary of State, and Chancellor of the Exchequer – Rt Hon George Osborne MP
  • Chief Secretary to the Treasury – Rt Hon Greg Hands MP
  • Financial Secretary – David Gauke MP
  • Exchequer Secretary – Damian Hinds MP
  • Economic Secretary – Harriett Baldwin MP

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.

For further information on the above please contact katy.recina@rmif.co.uk

Posted by Sue Robinson on 15/05/2015