Rishi Sunak appoints Greg Hands as Conservative party chair in cabinet mini-reshuffle


Rishi Sunak has promoted the trade minister Greg Hands to replace Nadhim Zahawi as Conservative party chair as he carries out a mini-reshuffle to try to reassert his grip over his divided party.

The prime minister has also conducted a shake-up of Whitehall by splitting the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy into three new departments to better reflect his priorities.

There were no sackings, with existing ministers moved to lead the new departments. Grant Shapps, the existing business secretary, will lead the new energy security and net zero department, while Kemi Badenoch will run business and trade while retaining her equalities brief.

The new science, innovation and technology department will be run by Michelle Donelan, while Lucy Frazer will be promoted to culture, media and sport.

Sunak had pledged to create a new energy department during his summer campaign to be Conservative leader, and sources said he had intentions since entering No 10 of creating an energy and science department and merging business and trade.

Cabinet ministers whose departments are affected were not pre-warned. The changes come amid a bullying investigation that could also affect the political future of Dominic Raab, Sunak’s deputy prime minister, who was not expected to be moved on Tuesday.

The reshuffle follows the sacking of Zahawi as party chair after multiple breaches of the ministerial code for failing to declare details of his tax affairs.

Source: The Guardian