Sun, 19 May 2024

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By Lord Watson of Wyre Forest
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Greg Hands Becomes New Tory Party Chair In Rishi Sunak's First Reshuffle

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak leaves 10 Downing Street (Alamy)

2 min read

Greg Hands has replaced Nadhim Zahawi as chair of the Conservative party in Rishi Sunak's first major reshuffle since becoming Prime Minister.

Hands leaves his job as trade minister to help prepare the party for tough local elections in May.

Zahawi was sacked by Sunak last month after an investigation found that he had breached the ministerial code in his handling of his tax affairs.

Hands said he was "excited" to be the new Tory party chair and that "the work starts right away".

Lee Anderson, the Tory MP for Ashfield elected in 2019, is the party's new deputy chair.

In a major overhaul of Whitehall on Tuesday, the Prime Minister has divided the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) into three new departments: energy security, business and trade, and science, innovation and technology.

Sunak has not sacked anyone as part of this reshaping of government.

Grant Shapps

Grant Shapps will lead the new department for energy security, having previously been the Secretary of State at BEIS. Similarly, Kemi Badenoch will head the new department for business and trade, having been the Secretary of State for International Trade.

Shapps said he was "delighted" to take on the new role and that his priorities would be securing the UK's long-term energy supply and bringing down bills.

Michelle Donelan has left her role as Secretary of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to lead the new science department. She is replaced at a rejigged DCMS by Lucy Frazer.

Dominic Raab remains in his roles as Deputy Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Justice as the investigation into multiple bullying allegations against him continues.

No 10 said the reforms would help Sunak deliver his five priorities that he has previously laid out. 

These are halving inflation, reducing debt, growing the econony, cutting NHS waiting times and stopping small boat crossings.

In a tweet following the reshufle, Sunak said "the government needs to reflect the priorities of the British people and be designed to deliver for them.

"These changes will focus teams on the issues that will build a better future for our children & grandchildren." 

Additional reporting by Caitlin Doherty.

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