Rishi's reshuffle

Shapps to lead renewed focus on energy supply

Grant Shapps
Grant Shapps: heads new department

Grant Shapps has been appointed Secretary of a new UK Energy Security and Net Zero department as Rishi Sunak aims to bring fresh focus to the debate over the transition to clean sources of fuel.

The former Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has been broken up as part of a reorganisation of government around Prime Minister’s priorities.

These include tackling inflation which has been driven partly by soaring energy bills. He feels a change of departmental focus will dovetail with attempts to revive growth in the UK economy.

A new business and trade department will be headed by Kemi Badenoch, while the creation of a Department for Science, Innovation and Technology will be led by former Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan.

The Department for Business and Trade will “support growth by backing British businesses at home and abroad, promoting investment and championing free trade”, said the government.

A new-look Department for Culture, Media and Sport, led by Lucy Frazer, 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”.

Opposition parties say the reorganisation will cost taxpayers millions and that it is a sign of weakness.

Greg Hands is the new Tory party chair, replacing Nadhim Zahawi who was sacked over his tax affairs.

Commenting on the new Energy Security and Net Zero department, Claire Mack, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “Linking energy security and net-zero in the title of a new UK Government department sends a clear message about the direction of travel of our industry.

“The new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero will rightly focus on securing and integrating affordable, home-grown, clean energy for the UK, and renewable energy has the power and the projects to do just that.”

New cabinet:

  • Grant Shapps, secretary of state for energy security and net zero
  • Kemi Badenoch – secretary of state for business and trade
  • Lucy Frazer, secretary of state for culture, media, and sport
  • Michelle Donelan, secretary of state for science, innovation and technology
  • Greg Hands, Conservative Party chairman

Comment: Sunak seeks to take steam out of energy debate

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