Shapps stays but transport ministers cut in reshuffle

 

Transport secretary Grant Shapps has survived but ministers George Freeman and Nusrat Ghani, who made history as the first female Muslim minister to speak from the House of Commons despatch box, have both been axed in the cabinet reshuffle.

Updated 14 February: Andrew Stephenson MP has been made minister of state and Kelly Tolhurst MP parliamentary under secretary of state.

Their roles have not been stated. It is also unclear who will take over the role of minister for HS2.

Mr Freeman, who was only appointed minister of state at the Department for Transport (DfT) in July 2019, expressed his disappointment on Twitter, while Ms Ghani struck a more understated tone.

'It’s been a huge privilege to shape the new #FutureOfTransport??Strategy at @transportgovuk w @grantshapps & brilliant DFT team, & help the PM make this an inspiring @OneNationCons Government of Renewal. Sad not to be part of it,' Mr Freeman said.

Ms Ghani wrote: 'Huge privilege to have been Transport Minister and we’ve achieved so much In 2 years. Thanks to the great team in the Dept and now I get to spend more time with family and constituents.'

Mr Freeman's brief had some key aspects to it including transport technology and innovation, Future of Mobility Grand Challenge and decarbonisation and environment.

His departure in an environment-related post comes hot on the heels of Claire Perry O'Neill being sacked earlier this month as minister for the climate summit COP2. She accused Number 10 of 'not getting' environmental issues.

Alok Sharma has taken on her post and simultaneously replaced Andrea Leadsom, who was sacked this morning, as business secretary.

Ms Ghani was a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at DfT since January 2018, with a more downbeat brief for maritime transport, including freeports, proposals for which have just been launched.

In January 2018, she made history as the first Muslim woman minister to field questions from the despatch box.

Elsewhere, Robert Jenrick remained secretary of state at the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, while Geroge Eustice has been appointed environment secretary.

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