Rishi Sunak makes Greg Hands Tory chairman and creates energy and science departments in sweeping Whitehall reforms

7 February 2023, 11:08 | Updated: 7 February 2023, 13:44

Rishi Sunak has held his first Cabinet reshuffle
Rishi Sunak has held his first Cabinet reshuffle. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Greg Hands has been confirmed as the new chairman of the Conservative party, after Nadhim Zahawi was sacked.

Rishi Sunak had sacked Mr Zahawi after an investigation by the Prime Minister's ethics adviser found a serious breach of the ministerial code.

Elsewhere in his mini-reshuffle, Mr Sunak also create four new departments - business and trade, energy security, science and culture.

Grant Shapps was appointed energy security and net zero secretary, moving from the old business, energy and industrial strategy portfolio.

Energy has been detached from the business department, which is now the Business and Trade department. Former trade secretary Kemi Badenoch has taken over the new brief, with the Department for International Trade moving into that portfolio.

Another department has been created, too, for Science, Innovation and Technology, which will be headed up by Michelle Donelan as secretary of state.

Greg Hands who has been named Tory party chairman
Greg Hands who has been named Tory party chairman. Picture: Alamy
Lucy Frazer who has been named Culture Secretary
Lucy Frazer who has been named Culture Secretary. Picture: social media

Read More: ‘Secretary of State for Pointless Culture Wars’: James O’Brien jabs at Kemi Badenoch in Cabinet reshuffle

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It also absorbs the "digital" part of the culture department, which reverts to its title of Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which will be headed up by Lucy Frazer.

The Government said: "The changes will ensure the right skills and teams are focussed on the Prime Minister's five promises: to halve inflation, grow the economy, reduce debt, cut waiting lists and stop the boats.

"A new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has been tasked with securing our long-term energy supply, bringing down bills and halving inflation.

"The move recognises the significant impact rising prices have had on households across the country as a result of Putin's illegal war in Ukraine, and the need to secure more energy from domestic nuclear and renewable sources as we seize the opportunities of net zero.

Grant Schapps who has been appointed energy security and net zero secretary
Grant Schapps who has been appointed energy security and net zero secretary. Picture: Alamy
Kemi Badenoch has taken over the new the Business and Trade department
Kemi Badenoch has taken over the new the Business and Trade department. Picture: Alamy
Michelle Donelan who will head up the Science, Innovation and Technology department
Michelle Donelan who will head up the Science, Innovation and Technology department. Picture: Alamy

"A dedicated Department for Science, Innovation and Technology will drive the innovation that will deliver improved public services, create new and better-paid jobs and grow the economy.

"Having a single department focussed on turning scientific and technical innovations into practical, appliable solutions to the challenges we face will help make sure the UK is the most innovative economy in the world.

"A combined Department for Business and Trade will support growth by backing British businesses at home and abroad, promoting investment and championing free trade.

"Finally, a re-focused Department for Culture, Media and Sport will recognise the importance of these industries to our economy and build on the UK's position as a global leader in the creative arts."

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