Conservative Party Cabinet sees new DECC leadership

Following the outcome of the 2015 General Election, a number of new appointments have been made to David Cameron’s all-Tory Cabinet that will impact the construction industry.

Following the collapse of the Liberal Democrat Party, former secretary of state for energy and climate change Ed Davey has been replaced by Amber Rudd after he lost his Kingston and Surbiton constituency seat. Ms. Rudd was appointed parliamentary under secretary of energy and climate change in July 2014 and has now taken charge of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

She will be assisted by Andrea Leadsom, who has been named minister of state at DECC. Ms. Leadsom, MP for South Northamptonshire, previously worked as economic secretary for the Treasury.

In a surprise move, Eric Pickles has been dropped as secretary of state at the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and replaced by former universities minister, Greg Clarke. Mr. Clarke will be supported by the newly appointed Mark Francois, who is expected to take charge of housing and planning as DCLG’s new minister of state.

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: “We welcome the appointment of Greg Clarke as the secretary of state for Communities and Local Government and look forward to working with him on issues where housing associations can and do play a vital role.

“We are especially keen to work with Mr Clarke on bold solutions to end the housing crisis within a generation. We’re calling for a long term plan to be published within the first year of parliament detailing how the 245,000 new homes we need each year, including 80,000 affordable homes, will be built.”

As the Conservative Party reshuffle is completed, the Labour Party has begun to rebuild itself following its defeat, with the promotion of Emma Reynolds to shadow secretary of state for communities and local government. Ms. Reynolds, who acted as shadow housing minister during the election campaign, has replaced Hilary Benn, who has been made shadow foreign secretary after the departure of Douglas Alexander, one of the 39 Labour MPs who lost their seats to SNP candidates.

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