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Justine Greening vacates transport secretary role in cabinet reshuffle

  • 04 September 2012
  • By Laura Hailstone

Justine Greening has been removed from the top spot at the Department for Transport (DfT) in David Cameron’s cabinet reshuffle today, after serving just 10 months as secretary of state for transport.

Replaced by Tory chief whip, Patrick McLoughlin, Greening was given the post of international development secretary. The move came as no surprise following the Putney MP’s opposition to a third runway at Heathrow.

McLoughlin, Conservative MP for Derbyshire Dales, has been parliamentary secretary to the treasury and chief whip since May 2010. Prior to that, he was shadow chief whip for five years, and has held numerous roles including a three year stint within the DfT between 1989 and 1992, albeit with a shipping and aviation focus.

His appointment marks the 15th transport secretary in 24 years.

James Hookham, MD of policy and communications at The Freight Transport Association, said: “There is a big agenda, not least to deliver promises of new road and rail infrastructure, rail industry reform and of course airport capacity, and we look forward to a constructive relationship with him.

Geoff Dunning, chief executive of the Road Haulage Association, said: “We note that Mr McLoughlin’s past voting record includes voting very strongly for increasing the rate of VAT. We sincerely hope that he will accept our arguments for reducing fuel duty”.

“This is a critical time for the UK logistics industry. The recovery of the economy, and its long term future is based, to a massive extent, on the long term success of a viable road haulage sector.  Therefore we sincerely hope that Mr McLoughlin is both a good listener and a quick learner.”

Theresa Villiers, technically Greening’s number two at the DfT, also got a new role as Northern Ireland Secretary, but roads minister Mike Penning has remained in place.

Danny Alexander has continued as chief secretary to the Treasury, much to the delight of FairFuelUK which has held talks with Alexander about fuel duty.

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Article source: http://www.commercialmotor.com:80/latest-news/justine-greening-vacates-transport-secretary-role-in-cabinet-reshuffle