Cabinet reshuffle: Chancellor’s allies join DECC

Amber Rudd has been appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), while Matt Hancock will replace the outgoing Energy Minister Michael Fallon.

Rudd, who previously worked as George Osborne’s parliamentary aide, replaces Greg Barker, who is leaving Government. The Hastings and Rye MP will take responsibility for the Green Deal, the Renewable Heat Incentive and the Green Investment Bank.

Meanwhile, Hancock – the Chancellor’s former chief of staff – succeeds Fallon as Minister of State for Business, with wide-ranging responsibility including North Sea oil and gas and Britain’s nuclear policy.

The appointment of two of Osborne’s associates has prompted suggestions that the Treasury is looking to tighten its grip on green energy spending and slow the pace of the UK’s decarbonisation agenda.

Climate change challenge

But Energy Secretary Ed Davey has insisted the combined experience of Rudd and Hancock will be an ‘enormous asset’ as the Government looks to move closer to achieving its renewables target; to deliver 15% of energy demand from renewable sources.

“I’m looking forward to welcoming Matthew Hancock and Amber Rudd to DECC,” said Davey. “They join us as we are increasingly demonstrating the success of our policies to meet Britain’s energy and climate change challenge.

“I want to thank Michael Fallon and Greg Barker for their immense contributions to turning around the legacy of energy underinvestment we inherited. I was particularly grateful to Greg for his support on my battles on climate and to Michael, for his backing for my pro-competition approach to the Big Six.”

The appointments follow news earlier today (15 July) that Liz Truss is replacing Owen Paterson as the new Environment Secretary as part of the far-reaching shake-up of David Cameron’s cabinet.

As confirmed by Cameron on his official Twitter account this morning, former Education Minister Truss will take up the position of Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with immediate effect, as Paterson has effectively being fired from his position.

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie