Reshuffle: Tory chair named and Energy Security among four new departments in Sunak shakeup
Video report by Carl Dinnen, words by Lewis Denison
Greg Hands, formerly a trade minister, has been appointed Tory party chair, replacing Nadhim Zahawi who was sacked over his tax affairs last week.
The Chelsea and Fulham MP insisted his taxes are "most definitely" in order after being asked by journalists on his way to the Conservative Campaign Headquarters following his appointment.
Ex-business secretary Grant Shapps will head up the new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, which will work to bring down utility bills and help households survive the cost-of-living crisis.
The government said it "has been tasked with securing our long-term energy supply, bringing down bills and halving inflation".
Three other government departments have also been created, with the changes aimed at ensuring the "right skills and teams are focussed on the prime minister’s five promises: to halve inflation, grow the economy, reduce debt, cut waiting lists and stop the boats".
The new Department for Science, Innovation and Technology will “drive the innovation that will deliver improved public services, create new and better-paid jobs and grow the economy”.
The Department for Business and Trade will “support growth by backing British businesses at home and abroad, promoting investment and championing free trade”.
A new-look Department for Culture, Media and Sport will “recognise the importance of these industries to our economy and build on the UK’s position as a global leader in the creative arts”.
Other Cabinet appointments:
Michelle Donelan MP as science, innovation and technology secretary
Kemi Badenoch MP as business and trade secretary. She remains as President of the Board of Trade, and Minister for Women and Equalities
Lucy Frazer KC MP as culture, media, and sport secretary
Lee Anderson MP promoted from backbenches to be deputy party chair
Graham Stuart MP as a minister at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero
George Freeman MP as a minister at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology
Nigel Huddleston MP as a minister in the Department for Business and Trade
Nusrat Ghani MP as a minister jointly in the Department for Business and Trade and the Cabinet Office
Andrew Bowie MP as a Parliamentary under secretary Department for Energy Security and Net Zero
Paul Scully MP as a Parliamentary under secretary in the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology
Kevin Hollinrake MP as a Parliamentary under secretary in the Department for Business and Trade
Stuart Andrew MP as a Parliamentary under secretary in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and as a Parliamentary under secretary in the Department for Business and Trade;
Maria Caulfield MP as a Parliamentary under secretary in the Department for Business and Trade, in addition to her current role as a Parliamentary under secretary in the Department of Health and Social Care
The government said the changes will "ensure the right skills and teams are focussed on the Prime Minister’s five promises: to halve inflation, grow the economy, reduce debt, cut waiting lists and stop the boats".
Downing Street said the plans for the shake-up “have been worked on for some time” but they would not be a “silver bullet” to address all the problems faced by the country.
The spokesman added: “These are putting in place the structures that can better enable government to deliver for the public.
“They are not simply a silver bullet, nor would we claim them to be.”
The prime minister's main focus in the reshuffle was said to be creating the energy department but commentators believe he was also seeking to turn a corner after being accused of having poor judgement over his previous Cabinet appointments, with two being sacked within his first 100 days in Downing Street.
Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, who is under a Cabinet Office investigation over bullying allegations, has survived the reshuffle for now and will remain justice secretary at least until the probe concludes.
Asked why Mr Raab remained in post, Mr Sunak said: “I’ve asked the independent adviser some time ago to have a look at the historic issues that have been raised.
“The independent adviser is conducting his investigation, I can’t prejudge the outcome of that investigation, it’s right that it concludes."
Controversies over Mr Sunak's previous Cabinet appointments
Gavin Williamson was sacked as minister without portfolio over bullying allegations last year after allegedly swearing at the chief whip.
Mr Zahawi was sacked after settling a £4.8 million bill with HM Revenue & Customs over his tax affairs, which included paying a penalty, and denying it.
There was also pressure on Mr Sunak to sack Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who he reappointed to the role, just days after she was sacked by former PM Liz Truss over security concerns, however he resisted.
Mr Raab is being investigated by senior lawyer Adam Tolley KC over bullying allegations – with dozens of officials thought to be involved in eight formal complaints. Mr Raab has denied the bullying allegations.
Mr Sunak’s pledge to govern with “integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level” when he entered No 10 more than a 100 days ago has been dented by the furore over Mr Zahawi’s financial affairs and the bullying claims dogging Mr Raab.
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