New ministerial line up at DfT

12.00 | 6 September 2012 | | 3 comments

The new-look ministerial team at the Department for Transport (DfT) includes three new faces, with Norman Baker the only former member to remain in post.

As reported earlier this week, the former chief whip Patrick McLoughlin has replaced Justine Greening as secretary of state for transport, in a move that has proved controversial in some quarters.

Mr McLoughlin served on Staffordshire County Council and Cannock Chase District Council before eventually becoming an MP in 1986. In June 2005 he was appointed to the Privy Council and in May 2010 became parliamentary secretary to the Treasury and chief whip.

Theresa Villiers and former road safety minister Mike Penning have moved to new roles outside the DfT, and have been replaced by Simon Burns MP and Stephen Hammond MP.

Simon Burns, MP for Chelmsford, is the new minister of state for transport.

Mr Burns was educated at Christ the King School, Ghana; Stamford School, Lincolnshire; and Worcester College, Oxford. He was first elected to Parliament in 1987 and had been minister for Health Services since May 2010, when the coalition Government was formed.

Speaking after accepting his role, Mr Burns said: “Following the Government reshuffle, I am delighted that the prime minister has appointed me as the minister for transport.”

Stephen Hammond has been named parliamentary under-secretary of state for transport.

Born and educated in Southampton, Mr Hammond attended King Edward VI School and afterwards London University. After graduating in economics, he began a career in finance.

He joined the Conservative Party after leaving university and was elected councillor in Village Ward in 2002. He was elected member of parliament for Wimbledon in May 2005 and in December 2005 was promoted to the position of shadow minister for transport, a position he held until 2010.

Mike Penning is now minister of state at the Northern Ireland office. As yet, it is unknown who in the new team will assume responsibility for road safety.

Click here for more information about the new ministerial team.


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    Few companies would survive if executives stayed in jobs the same average time as Ministers – typically 18 months. This is a very serious problem for sensible and informed decision-making and one explanation of the short-term thinking of so many..
    Robin Day famously referred to Sir John Knott, then Defence Secretary – as a “Here today, gone tommorrow politician” but they all are – few stay in long enough to grasp even the basic principles of their departments. Rather like a Premier League manager saying to the goalkeeper “You were useless – next week you can be centre-forward”.
    Worse, the PM appoints a MP to the Treasury because she worked for accountants – only to find she did so in Personnel not accountancy! Reminds me of the Stan Freeberg record starting with door opening then traffic noise – ‘Hey you – can you sing? No? fine – come in and make a record, I have a sharp pointed stick.”

    Idris Francis
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    Here we go again! Nobody in government seems to understand the principal of continuity and experience.

    Brian Chidgey, Bournemouth
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    According to Wikipedia (the font of all knowledge), Mr Burns once pleaded guilty to Careless Driving after hitting a cyclist with his vehicle.

    Hopefully this gives him a unique perspective on the issues road users face and we can all work together to improve all aspects of road safety.


    Neil Hopkins, Sussex
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