Merriman snapped up in DfT changes


The Department for Transport (DfT) has poached the chair of the Transport Select Committee for a ministerial role and sacked another Truss administration MP under a major clearout of ministers.

The clearout leaves only Baroness Vere from previous administrations and reverses the gender balance in the department. Baroness Vere is the only female minister.

Huw Merriman MP, who has chaired the transport committee since January 2020, was appointed late last week as a minister of state at the DfT. On Monday morning he was still technically chair of the committee but has accepted publicly that he will not be able to remain on the committee.

He tweeted: ‘I am delighted to be joining @transportgovuk as a Minister of State. Thank you to @RishiSunak for giving me this opportunity.’

He added: ‘It's been a privilege to serve on @TransportCttee since 2015, and as Chair since 2020. It's sad to be leaving, but I would like to say a big thank you to my fellow members - past and present - and to the committee staff for all of their hard work and support over the past 7 years.’

Richard Holden MP was appointed parliamentary under secretary of state, replacing Katherine Fletcher, who had only been in post since September and held the roads portfolio.

Mark Harper had previously been appointed as transport secretary, with Jesse Norman returning to the department as a minister of state. This means that the DfT has four male and one female minister, having had four female ministers under the Truss administration.

Earlier this month, the then transport secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan joked that the department’s only male minister, Kevin Foster as ‘our token man’.

As of Monday morning, Baroness Vere was the only minister holding a portfolio, according to the DfT website.

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