Latest Public Sector News

14.07.16

Sajid Javid named the new communities secretary

Sajid Javid has been transferred from business secretary to communities and local government secretary, replacing Greg Clark, as part of a dramatic cabinet reshuffle on Theresa May’s first day as prime minister.

Javid, the MP for Bromsgrove, is a former banker who entered politics in 2009. He has previously served as a financial secretary to the treasury, a minister for equalities and secretary for culture, media and sport before becoming business secretary following last year’s election.

He replaces Greg Clark, who was also appointed as communities and local government secretary last year.

Following a meeting at No. 10, Clark has now been appointed as secretary for business, energy and industrial strategy, suggesting the department for energy and climate change is being merged with the department for business and skills.

Speaking at the LGA annual conference last week, Clark reaffirmed his commitment to the English devolution agenda, saying it was more important than ever following the UK’s vote to leave the EU.

Javid’s appointment comes as part of an almost total overhaul of Cabinet posts. Among other appointments, Nicky Morgan, the education and equalities secretary who controversially pushed to convert every school in England into an academy, has been replaced by former international development secretary Justine Greening.

Stephen Crabb, who replaced Iain Duncan Smith as work and pensions secretary earlier this year, resigned from the Cabinet, to be replaced by Damien Green.

Meanwhile, Michael Gove has been replaced by Liz Truss, the former secretary for the environment, food and rural affairs, as justice secretary.

Truss’ post has been taken over by Andrea Leadsom, May’s one-time opponent for leadership of the Conservative party.

David Davis has also been appointed in the newly created role of secretary for the UK’s exit from the European Union.

5pm UPDATE

Cllr Paul Carter, chair of the County Councils Network (CCN), said: “CCN would like to congratulate Sajid Javid on his new role as secretary of state for communities and local government.

“Building on the legacy of Greg Clark, who was a real advocate for local government and devolution, we look forward to continuing the devolution momentum and our close working relationship with ministers.

“In what could be a significant period of national change, county authorities are well placed to provide stability for our local economies and offer solutions to the sector's biggest challenges.”

He added that the CCN would work with Javid to seek a county devolution settlement which is “both radical and flexible to local needs.”

Lord Porter, chair of the Local Government Association (LGA), paid tribute to Clark, saying: “It has been a pleasure to work alongside Greg Clark as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Over the past year or so, we have been able to work together to deliver changes and secure a number of wins for local authorities.

“The announcement that councils will be able to retain more business rates was one of the biggest reforms to local government finance in a lifetime and our push for more devolution is now revealing just what can be achieved if you hand over more powers locally.”

He added that he looked forward to working with Javid to ensure that councils get “the best possible deal” in negotiations during the UK’s exit from the EU.

(Image c. Andrew Matthews from PA Wire and Press Association Images)

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