Boris Johnson appoints Grant Shapps to succeed Chris Grayling as Secretary of State for Transport

Grant Shapps has been announced as the man to succeed Chris Grayling as Secretary of State for Transport.

Boris Johnson, in his first task as the new Prime Minister, took the proverbial chainsaw to Mrs May's previous ministerial incumbents, in what was generally described by some political commentators as not so much a reshuffle but more of a cull.

Mr Shapps was announced as Chris Grayling's replacement early yesterday evening.

The 50 year old has held a number of ministerial roles, including Minister of State for International Development and Minister of State for Local Housing. He was also Chairman of the Conservative Party from 2012 to 2015.

The incoming Secretary of State for Transport doesn't come without some controversy attached to him.

The Independent reported that he ran a money-making scheme under an assumed name and was subsequently caught misleading the public about it. He also resigned from a role at a property website after allegations of a secret pay deal. It was alleged that as shadow housing minister he took donations from companies relevant to his portfolio which may have constituted a conflict of interest, however he was exonerated by the commissioner.

Shapps is a major supporter of an expanded Heathrow Airport, although other major initiatives that he will find cluttering up his in-tray is the beleaguered HS2 project, the possible devolution of some suburban rail lines over to Transport for London and the Task and Finish Report into taxis and private hire which many, including Wes Streeting MP believe has lingered around on Chris Graylings desk for far too long.

It is hoped that Mr Shapps will be a far more effective Secretary of State for Transport than his much maligned predecessor.

Image Source: UK Parliament (CC 3.0)

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