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Grant Shapps appointed new Transport Secretary
Grant Shapps appointed new Transport Secretary

Grant Shapps appointed new Transport Secretary

Grant Shapps has been appointed as the new Transport Secretary as part of the cabinet reshuffle by the new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

The cabinet reshuffle represents one of the biggest upheavals of cabinet ministers ever seen; scores of previous heads of departments were sacked, while countless others resigned.

The MP for Welwyn Hatfield in Hertfordshire, Mr Shapps, replaces Chris Grayling as the head of the Department for Transport (DfT), who resigned from the role.

It represents the end of a three-year stint in the role that was blighted by blunders and criticism.

Mr Shapps fills the role after having filled cabinet roles since the Conservatives returned to government in 2010.

He has previously worked as the Minister of State at the Department for International Development; prior to that, he was the Chairman of the Conservative Party.

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway industry Association, which represents the rail supply community, thanked Mr Grayling for his support during his tenure.

He said: “I would also like to thank outgoing Transport Secretary Chris Grayling MP, who has been a keen supporter of rail supply and was passionate about innovation in the sector and the opportunities available to export abroad.”

Of his successor, the RIA congratulated him on his appointment but spoke about the challenges ahead.

“The industry also faces challenges. At a time when the Network Rail devolution plan and Williams Rail Review will likely see a radical restructure of the railways, with the rail supply sector’s continuing concern about ‘boom and bust‘ in rail investment affecting both infrastructure and rolling stock, and a lack of visibility of planned enhancement work, and with the government committing to decarbonise UK rail by 2040, requiring a better approach to electrification, there are clearly plenty of rail issues for Mr Shapps to deal with in the coming months.”

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