Industry figures switch roles in cabinet reshuffle

David Cameron’s cabinet reshuffle has seen a number of changes across departments including business and energy, defence and skills.

Michael Fallon
Michael Fallon, the new defence minister.

In the last major reshuffle before next May’s General Election, the PM has overseen a raft of changes which have seen high profile exits from cabinet including prominent Tories Ken Clarke and William Hague.

Defence secretary Philip Hammond is leaving the post he took up in 2010 to replace foreign secretary Mr Hague, who announced yesterday evening he planned to retire from politics next May after serving out the role as Leader of the House until then.

Replacing Mr Hammond with the defence portfolio is business and energy minister Michael Fallon, who has been a key figure in the world of manufacturing since beginning the role after beginning the role in September 2012.

Mr Fallon, who was also announced as the Minister for Portsmouth earlier this year in a role designed to support jobs and growth in the city, will be replaced by skills minister Matthew Hancock.

Mr Hancock is no stranger to the world of manufacturing, having been a prominent supporter of industry-based apprenticeships since taking the post in September 2012.

Replacing Hancock is Nick Boles, who will operate in the role jointly shared between the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education, with responsibilities including adult skills, apprenticeships and business support.

Greg Clark has taken the science and universities remit from David Willets, adding to his existing role as minister for cities.

Mr Willets announced his resignation earlier today following four years in a job where he has overseen a number of major reforms to the higher education system.

Regionally, Matthew Crabb becomes secretary of state for Wales after serving as a junior in the Welsh Office since 2012.