Prospect responds to cabinet reshuffle

13 February 2020

The Prime Minister has delivered his first major reshuffle since the election in December. Key positions have been decided that will have a large impact on the country and on our members.

The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has a new secretary of state after the appointment of Alok Sharma. This is a key department for our members as the country navigates its way towards Net Zero, and as we seek a just transition for our members in the energy sector.

Prospect general secretary Mike Clancy responded to the appointment:

“The government has had no coherent energy policy for years, and the new secretary of state faces a string of urgent strategic decisions that need to be taken to achieve Net Zero and secure our energy supply.

“We need to see the Energy White paper as soon as possible and the government must get serious about putting the investment in place to secure a low-carbon energy mix – this must include a new generation of nuclear power stations.

“The government claims to speak for the whole country, so the Business Secretary must be a champion of workers as well as business leaders. Workers’ voices must be heard as the fourth industrial revolution transforms the world of work.”

Another key department is Defra which also has a new secretary of state.

Mike Clancy said:

“The government claims that the environment is top of its agenda, but environmental agencies and their workers are often at the bottom of the pile for resources and reward.

“A government that is serious about protecting our environment, cleaning our air, and restoring biodiversity needs to be serious about funding environmental agencies and properly rewarding environmental workers.

“The new Defra secretary can show they are serious by fighting hard for funding for the Environment Agency and Natural England in Budget next month.”

Houses of Parliament

Ben Wallace retained his position as Defence Secretary.

Garry Graham, Prospect’s deputy general secretary, responded:

“The alarming rate of churn at the MOD has actively impeded the stable policy-making we need to maintain our national security and support our defence industry, so we welcome a period of stability that will allow Ministers to get to grips with the long-terms challenges facing the country.

“Defence workers badly need a government that is on their side and enables them to play their full role in our national security by placing orders for defence equipment in the UK.

“The Defence Secretary has kept his job, and he can help hundreds of defence workers keep theirs by announcing that the new Fleet Solid Support Ships will be built in British shipyards- securing hundreds of jobs and maintaining a glorious tradition of British shipbuilding.”

Read Bectu’s response to the appointment of Oliver Dowden as Culture Secretary