Greg Clark has replaced Eric Pickles as communities secretary in the new Conservative cabinet. Clark previously served under Pickles as minister for cities, universities and science and is respected for his understanding of the city devolution and growth agenda – he co-authored a book, published in 2003, on the perils of big government.
Today’s flurry of cabinet announcements saw Amber Rudd promoted to energy secretary, replacing former Liberal Democrat MP Ed Davey. Reaction to Rudd’s appointment was largely positive. UK Green Building Council chief executive Julie Hirigoyen said, “Through her previous role as climate change minister, Amber Rudd clearly demonstrated that she understands the business case for energy efficiency and the low carbon economy, and has a strong commitment to tackling climate change.”
Environmental campaign group Greenpeace noted that in a previous role, Rudd was a srong champion for a better deal in the EU for the UK’s local, sustainable fishing sector. John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK said, “We look forward to her bringing the same drive and ambition to securing the clean and efficient energy future Britain needs.”
Other key cabinet appointments include:
- Mark Francois is made a minister at Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)
- Brandon Lewis remains housing minister at DCLG, after initial confusion in government announcements
- Andrea Leadsom becomes climate change minister
- Sajid Javid becomes business secretary
- John Whittingdale becomes culture secretary
- Nicky Morgan remains education secretary, as well as minister for women and equalities
- Priti Patel becomes employment minister
- Patrick McLoughlin remains transport secretary.
In Labour’s shadow cabinet, Emma Reynolds is shadow communities secretary, while Caroline Flint remains shadow energy secretary.