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The inside track: February 2023

Our latest update on what’s happening in Westminster and how it might impact charities. This month sees continuing discussion of the procurement bill, the creation of three new government departments, and a big change at the top of Scottish politics.

Machinery of government changes

Rishi Sunak announced several machinery of government changes this month alongside a minor reshuffle.

The Department for Business, Enterprise, and Industrial Strategy has been split across three different departments:

  • the Department for Business and Trade (DBT)
  • the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ)
  • the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT).

Digital policy has been transferred to the new DSIT, so DCMS has returned to its pre-2017 name of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. This, alongside the resignation of Nadhim Zahawi, created several opportunities for appointments.

Lucy Frazer – culture, media and sport secretary

First elected as an MP in 2015, Lucy Frazer has taken over as culture secretary from Michelle Donelan who has moved to DSIT.

A barrister by profession, and King’s Counsel, much of her ministerial career has been in the Ministry of Justice. She has also served in the Treasury, Department for Transport, and most recently at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Grant Shapps – energy security and net zero secretary

Previously business secretary, Grant Shapps has followed the energy portfolio to DESNZ.

MP for Welwyn Hatfield since 2005, Mr Shapps has held a number of ministerial posts, including briefly serving as Home Secretary after Suella Braverman’s resignation in 2022. He has been a patron of a number of charities, both local and national.

Kemi Badenoch – business and trade secretary

Kemi Badenoch has taken charge of what remains of the business department, having previously served as international trade secretary.

Seen as a rising star on the right of the party, she has served in a number of ministerial roles since first being elected to parliament in 2017. She remains in place as minister for women and equalities, having been positioned as the ‘anti-woke’ candidate in the 2022 Conservative leadership election.

Civil service appointments

The creation of new departments has also led to several new appointments of permanent secretaries.

  • Jeremy Pocklington has moved from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to head up the new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.
  • Sarah Healey is his replacement, moving from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, where Ruth Hannant and Polly Payne will cover as permanent secretary on an interim basis.
  • Sarah Munby will head up the new Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, having previously been permanent secretary at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
  • Gareth Davies will lead the Department for Business and Trade, having recently taken over as Permanent Secretary at the now defunct Department for International Trade.
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