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Green Deal minister out as Cameron starts reshuffle

Energy minister Greg Barker, who has led the Green Deal for the government, is among the government ministers to exit their roles in prime minister David Cameron’s reshuffle

The AJ’s sister title Construction News reported that supporters were quick to pay tribute to Barker for his passionate stance on green policies, following his resignation as energy and climate change minister in the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Although the Green Deal has been widely criticised for its slow start and lack of takeup since being launched in January 2013, Barker has been hailed for his pro-green stance and work on issues such as the Renewable Heat Incentive.

Barker established the Green Investment Bank and leading the passage of the Climate Change Bill while in opposition.

In January this year he praised the work done by SMEs and urged larger contractors to take greater advantage of the beleagured Green Deal scheme. He also admitted the government’s initial target of 10,000 Green Deal plans to be in place by the end of 2013 had been “spectacularly wrong”.

Barker, who will step down from Parliament in next year’s election, said on Twitter: “It has been a huge honour to serve in pioneering [first] Cameron govt, & great privilege to represent Bexhill & Battle.”

The FT reported he would hold a temporary role as a green adviser to the Prime Minister.

In a letter to Barker, the Prime Minister said: ‘You have served continuously on the Conservative front bench for over a decade and I hope you can be enormously proud of all you have achieved over the years covering the related briefs of environment and, more recently, climate change.

‘In particular, you have led successful investment into our energy infrastructure, making the UK a world-leader in renewable technology. You have established the Green Investment Bank, and mobilised over £3bn investment into our renewables sector last year alone.’

Among the other casualties linked to construction were: Stephen Hammond, junior transport minister; university and science minister David Willetts and environment secretary Owen Paterson.

The most senior member of government to stand down was foreign secretary William Hague, who will remain in Cabinet as leader of the House of Commons, but will also stand down as an MP following next year’s general election.

Employment minister Esther McVey and Nicky Morgan, the women’s minister are among those expected to be promoted later today.

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