Mayor of London Boris Johnson has said changes to the transport secretary show that the government is ‘intent on the simply mad policy’ of a new runway at Heathrow
Johnson said: ‘It is time for the government to level with Londoners. Are they in favour of a third runway at Heathrow or not?’
However home secretary Theresa May has insisted that the coalition had made its policy on Heathrow ‘very clear’ but that new transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin will continue the work done by Justine Greening on reviewing options for aviation expansion, reported sister title Construction News.
Grant Shapps, previously housing minister has been appointed minister without portfolio, attending cabinet, and Conservative party chairman.
Grant Shapps reaction:
Chartered Institute of Housing chief executive Grainia Long said: ‘Grant enjoyed an extended tenure in the housing brief as both Shadow and then Housing Minister. One of his greatest achievements was to push through the changes to local authority self financing, something that CIH was instrumental in campaigning for.
‘Grant was able to look beyond self-financing’s origins as a policy adopted by the previous Labour administration, taking the politics out of the policy and concentrating instead on the benefits to residents and communities across the country. I would personally like to wish Grant the very best of luck in his new position as Conservative Party co-chairman.’
Former government chief whip Patrick McLoughlin has taken on the role of transport secretary. Greening had been in the role for less than a year after she replaced Philip Hammond in October 2011.
Justine Greening has been appointed secretary of state for international development, while Maria Miller has been named culture secretary.
McLoughlin was formerly parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department of Transport from 1989 to 1992.
Theresa Villiers has also been moved from her role as transport minister to become new Northern Ireland secretary.
Both Villiers and Greening have consistently argued against the need for a third runway at Heathrow Airport, both in opposition and in government, but both look set to be in new posts by the end of the day.
Meanwhile Andrew Lansley has left health and has become the new leader of the Commons. Jeremy Hunt has been confirmed as the new health secretary, describing the appointment as ‘the biggest privilege of my life’.
Former welfare minister Chris Grayling has been appointed as Justice Secretary, replacing Ken Clarke who the BBC’s political editor Nick Robinson reported would act as ‘the government’s ‘wise head’ offering advice to the prime minister’.
Education secretary Michael Gove will stay in the portfolio, while business secretary Vince Cable, construction minister Mark Prisk and chancellor George Osborne are all expected to remain in their current posts.
Baroness Warsi confirmed she has left her role as Tory Party co-chairman.
Former northern ireland secretary Owen Paterson will reportedly take over from Caroline Spelman at DEFRA, while Cheryl Gillan has been moved from her job as Welsh Secretary.
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