Reshuffle: Greg Clark keeps top BEIS role as Claire Perry gains cabinet spot

Greg Clark has held onto his role as BEIS Secretary in the cabinet reshuffle after widespread speculation about his future, while his colleague Claire Perry has gained a promotion within the department.

Hamstrung by a weak parliamentary majority and a need to ensure a ministerial balance between Brexiteers and Remain voters, Prime Minister Theresa May led a relatively quiet reshuffle which saw key figures such as Chancellor Philip Hammond and Brexit Secretary David Davis remain in their current roles.

Michael Gove kept his job as Defra Secretary, as his department prepares to unveil the much-anticipated 25-Year Environment Plan later this week.

It was widely speculated in the build-up to the reshuffle that Clark had been in line for the sack, but he stays on in the post after spending more than an hour in No 10. yesterday (8 January) afternoon. Some reports suggested that Clark and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt had refused to swap roles.

Green shuffle

Meanwhile, the new position of BEIS Minister has been handed to Claire Perry as the Prime Minister moved to improve the gender balance of her cabinet. In gaining a cabinet spot, Perry steps up from her role as Climate Change Minister, which she took over from Nick Hurd in the immediate aftermath of last year’s snap General election.

Since then, Perry has played a key role in making Britain’s voice heard on the on the global climate change scene, co-launching a global alliance to phase out coal alongside her Canadian counterpart. She was also heavily involved in raising the ambition of BEIS’s flagship Clean Growth Strategy, the long-term blueprint for the UK’s push towards its future carbon budgets.

During his time in office, Business Secretary Clark has overseen the launch of the UK’s Industrial Strategy, which recognises clean energy as a top priority for British industry. 

The Tunbridge Wells MP is seen as a popular figure in the Tory party, but his role had come under scrutiny following accusations of “dithering” in office and lacking enthusiasm when it came to tackling excessive executive pay.

Clark has helped to push the green agenda forward as BEIS Secretary, securing big investments for low-carbon innovations such as electric vehicles and energy storage technologies.

George Ogleby

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