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Article from BTNews 10 SEPTEMBER 2012

UK Ministerial update

The British Prime Minister David Cameron last week announced a series of ministerial changes that will affect the business travel industry.

Out goes Justine Greening (retaining her Cabinet position of Secretary of State for International Development) and Theresa Villiers (now Northern Ireland Secretary). 

They are replaced by former miner Patrick McLoughlin (C Derbyshire Dales) as Secretary of State for Transport, allegedly not a keen flyer.  He has previously served in the same department as an Under Secretary in the last years of Mrs Thatcher’s government. 

Minister of State, responsible for aviation, rail and London Transport, is now the somewhat controversial Simon Burns (C Chelmsford) who in June 2010 was forced to issue “a grovelling apology” after calling Commons speaker John Bercow a "stupid sanctimonious dwarf".

Concern has been expressed by ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) on what appears to be downgrading of tourism, with the Minister responsible, John Penrose, removed as part of a down-sizing of his department and with no current plans to replace him.

An interesting appointment is that of Sajid Javid (C Bromsgrove) as Economic Secretary to the Treasury with responsibilities for APD.  His background is very much in international finance including spells at Chase Manhattan and Deutsche banks. www.number10.gov.uk

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