During the afternoon of Thursday, 23rd May 2019, I was summoned to Number 10 Downing Street and told by the Prime Minister that she was promoting me to the rank of Minister of State and asking me to transfer from the Culture Department to serve as the No 2 at the Department for Transport – making me the most senior Minister in the Department below the Secretary of State, Chris Grayling MP.
I have served as a Government Minister in the rank of Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for nearly three years. After serving as Deputy Leader of the House of Commons for about 18 months and as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Arts, Heritage and Tourism for over 16 months I am now delighted to say I have been promoted to a higher rank of Government Minister: Minister of State – one rank below a Cabinet Minister.
I have now assumed the role of Minister of State for Transport which means I am now in charge of policy areas such as road building/road safety; cycling and walking; electric and autonomous vehicles; Highways England; light rail; and transport and the environment amongst other policy briefs. With other 246,000 miles of road in Great Britain it is vitally important that we look after our road network and look to expand the network in order to ensure the transport of goods, services and people. I have previously shown my interest in this policy area through my campaigning over the years to create the National Pothole Fund, raising of £5 million of extra pothole funding for our area alone.
Billions of pounds of Government funding is spent on roads and the development of new infrastructure and vehicles in this country and I look forward to the role immensely. On the night of my promotion I got stuck straight in by attending a ‘Growing Together’ event, with representatives of the regions discussing the future of transport.
I am looking forward to serving Her Majesty’s Government in this new role.