Patrick McLoughlin replaces Justine Greening as Transport Secretary at the DfT
Patrick McLoughlin, who was Chief Whip, has now become Transport Secretary, replacing Justine Greening, who – because of her strong opposition to a 3rd runway at Heathrow – has been moved (to be International Development Secretary). The Campaign for Better Transport said it was “a big shame” to lose Greening because she was “actually putting in place a long-term strategy for transport, a rare thing”. John Stewart, Chair of HACAN, said her removal heralded “big changes in aviation policy”. Theresa Villiers, who was Aviation Minister, has been replaced by Simon Burns, with Theresa moved to become Northern Ireland Secretary. Patrick McLoughlin is MP for the Derbyshire Dales, and served briefly as a junior transport minister under Margaret Thatcher from 1989 to 1992. As a backbencher, he voted for a “rethink” on the Labour Government’s policy of expanding Heathrow in 2009 when Villiers made this the Conservatives’ policy. He is apparently afraid of flying, (or he was 20 years ago) and started his working life as a farm worker and a miner. The DfT Aviation team has also been reshuffled.
Patrick McLoughlin replaces Justine Greening as Transport Secretary at the DfT
4.9.2012 (Transport Extra)
Patrick McLoughlin: As a backbencher, he voted for a “rethink” on the Labour Government policy of expanding Heathrow in 2009 when Villiers made this the Conservative policy.
Greening was opposed to Heathrow expansion
The Prime Minister has appointed former chief whip Patrick McLoughlin as his third transport secretary, replacing Justine Greening.
The Campaign for Better Transport had said it would be “a big shame” to lose Greening because she was “actually putting in place a long-term strategy for transport, a rare thing”.
HACAN Clearskies chair John Stewart said the removal of anti-third runway Greening and Theresa Villiers from the DfT heralded “big changes in aviation policy”.
Greening had claimed a “political consensus” for rejecting Heathrow expansion and had planned a consultation on how to “make sure that we have the hub capacity this country needs” without a third runway at Heathrow. But the Chancellor said at the weekend that a third Heathrow runway was one of the alternatives that needed to be looked at.
Derbyshire Dales MP McLoughlin was made a junior transport minister by Margaret Thatcher in 1989 and he served for three years at the department. As a backbencher, he voted for a “rethink” on the Labour Government’s policy of expanding Heathrow in 2009 when Villiers made this the Conservatives’ policy.
The 4 ministers at the DfT now are shown at http://www.dft.gov.uk/ministers/
Simon Burns is the new Minister of State at Transport, replacing Theresa Villiers.
The Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP
Secretary of State for Transport
The Rt Hon Simon Burns MP
Minister of State for Transport
Norman Baker MP
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport
Stephen Hammond MP
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport
Simon Burns MP
More about Simon Burns, MP for Chelmsford, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Burns
This is something Simon Burns said in 2009:
MP for Wimbledon – new Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport. Replaced Mike Penning.
In 2009 Stephen Hammond wrote against expanding Heathrow: http://londonunlocked.org/?p=744
but in July 2012 he wanted a Heathrow 3rd runway to be reconsidered.
Wimbledon MP wants to ‘re-examine’ third Heathrow runway
and in the Standard 23.7.2012
I’ve changed my mind — we do need a new airport
http://www.standard.co.uk/comment/ive-changed-my-mind–we-do-need-a-new-airport-7965698.html and he wants a new 5 runway hub, for capacity out to 2075, as well as mixed mode at Heathrow now, a 3rd Heathrow runway, better transport to Stansted and Gatwick, and a 2nd runway at Gatwick.
John Parkinson, who has been Head of UK Aviation Policy at the DfT, has been moved to a new role within the Department as Head of International Co-operation.
So even the DfT policy team is being shuffled.
2.9.2012 (Conservative Home)
2.30pm Boris Johnson, the London Mayor, has reacted angrily to Justine Greening’s shuffling. He told the BBC:
“There can be only one reason to move her – and that is to expand Heathrow Airport. It is simply mad to build a new runway in the middle of west London. Nearly a third of the victims of aircraft noise in the whole of Europe live in the vicinity of Heathrow. Now it is clear that the Government wants to ditch its promises and send yet more planes over central London. The third runway would mean more traffic, more noise, more pollution – and a serious reduction in the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people. We will fight this all the way.”
BBC’s Nick Robinson said:
Miss Greening – a strong opponent of a new runway at Heathrow – has been replaced by former Conservative Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin after less than a year in the job and will take over the lower-profile role as International Development Secretary.
Unlike Miss Greening, Mr McLoughlin – who was a transport minister under Lady Thatcher and Sir John Major – is said to have “no baggage” over Heathrow expansion.
Mr Johnson said the development was a sign the government may rethink its approach to new air capacity in the south of England.
He described her as a “first-rate transport secretary” and said her opposition to Heathrow expansion was the “only possible” reason for the change and promised to fight this all the way.
Patrick McLoughlin brings fear of flying to transport brief
Airport expansion – especially Heathrow’s third runway – will be biggest issue for flight-phobic new transport secretary
- by Gwyn Topham, transport correspondent (Guardian)
Just as the aviation industry was popping corks at the departure of a transport secretary who opposed Heathrow expansion, it has emerged that the new incumbent has his own issues: a fear of flying.
Patrick McLoughlin, the new transport secretary, has previously admitted that he not only has a fear of flying but he represents the most landlocked constituency in the UK.
McLoughlin made the admission in a magazine interview recalling the time when he was invited to be a junior minister for aviation and shipping in the Thatcher government, 20 years ago.
In an interview with Total Politics magazine, McLoughlin related how the then transport secretary, Cecil Parkinson, invited him to take up the brief. “I replied: ‘Cecil, I’ve got two problems with this. I’ve got the most landlocked constituency in the United Kingdom, and I’m afraid of flying.'”
McLoughlin said that Parkinson replied it meant he would “bring an open mind to the subject”. He served in the department for three years.
The biggest transport question for the the new minister is about airport expansion, and especially Heathrow. McLoughlin will inherit a row over what to do next: government policy rules out a third runway in this parliament but the Treasury has indicated it is open to the idea in the long term. The issue splits the government and backbenches alike.
There is another unresolved battle, over rail. A high court judge is weighing the merits of Virgin’s application for a judicial review of the west coast main line franchise award. If Virgin’s legal action is dismissed, McLoughlin will have to deal with an angry Richard Branson. If not, the consequences could be more far reaching – possibly a review of the franchising process, delaying a host of contracts up for renewal in the next two years. He may also push the Treasury to again soften the blow for commuters of planned rail fares, set to rise between 6% and 11% in January.
He will have to choose this autumn between the route options for the £33bn high-speed rail network north of Birmingham – a decision with the potential to create new areas of local opposition, particularly in Londonand the south.
Road-building headaches lie further ahead. And for those Jeremy Clarksonites who believe there has been, in last-but-one incumbent Philip Hammond’s words, a “war on the motorist”, there is the promised raising of the motorway speed limit. But with road deaths climbing, McLoughlin may choose to let this one slip quietly away.
Conservative MP for Derbyshire Dales
McLoughlin was born in Stafford, the son and grandson of coal miners. He was educated at the Cardinal Griffin Roman Catholic School in Cannock, Staffordshire, and Staffordshire College of Agriculture at Rodbaston College. From 1974 he worked for five years as a farm worker and after 1979 worked underground at the Littleton Colliery in Cannock. He was a member of the National Union of Mineworkers, he became an industrial representative for the National Coal Board’s Western Area Marketing Department.
‘Mad’ plan for a third Heathrow runway is back on, warns Boris
- Justine Greening dumped in reshuffle after threatening to quit over plan
- Mayor of London turns on PM and says: ‘There can be only one reason’
- Patrick McLoughlin takes over the transport brief after the reshuffle
By JASON GROVES
Boris Johnson accused ministers of being bent on a ‘simply mad’ plan to expand Heathrow after the project’s key Cabinet opponent Justine Greening was dumped as Transport Secretary.
Her replacement by former Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin reopened the debate over whether the Tories should ditch their opposition to a third runway at the 2015 election.
In an angry statement, London Mayor Mr Johnson said David Cameron appeared to be on the brink of breaking his election pledge to block a third runway at Heathrow.
Miss Greening, a fierce opponent of expansion at Heathrow which threatened her constituency of Putney, South-West London, had thought she would hold on to the job she had been in for less than a year.
But she fell victim to a new Tory drive, led by Chancellor George Osborne, to look again at the party’s position on the issue.
Despite pleading to remain in her post, she was shifted sideways to International Development.
Miner’s son Mr McLoughlin returns to the Department for Transport following a 20-year break.
After 17 years in the Tory whips’ office his current views on transport are unknown. Like most other Tory frontbenchers he has voted against Heathrow expansion in the past.
But he is now said to have an ‘open mind’ on the issue. And despite having previously served as aviation minister under Margaret Thatcher and John Major, he is afraid of flying.
Expansion: Debate has raged for years over a 3rd runway at Heathrow and the reshuffle intensified speculation there could be a u-turn on the issue
Anger: Tory Zac Goldsmith says he would stand down over the issue as he believes his party must protect those under the Heathrow flight path
Mr McLoughlin will also have to handle growing Tory criticism over plans for HS2, a new high-speed rail line linking London to the Midlands and the North.
Mr Johnson, who is promoting his own plans for a new airport in the Thames estuary, said Miss Greening had been a ‘first-rate Transport Secretary’.
THE NEW CABINET IN FULL
Prime Minister – David Cameron
Deputy Prime Minister – Nick Clegg
Foreign – William Hague
Chancellor – George Osborne
Chief Secretary to the Treasury – Danny Alexander
Justice – Chris Grayling
Home Secretary – Theresa May
Defence – Philip Hammond
Business, Innovation and Skills – Vince Cable
Work and Pensions – Iain Duncan Smith
Energy and Climate Change – Edward Davey
Health – Jeremy Hunt
Education – Michael Gove
Communities and Local Government – Eric Pickles
Transport – Patrick McLouglin
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – Owen Paterson
International Development – Justine Greening
Culture Secretary – Maria Miller
Northern Ireland – Theresa Villiers
Scotland – Michael Moore
Wales – David Jones
Minister without Portfolio – Ken Clarke
Minister without Portfolio – Grant Shapps
Leader of the House of Lords – Lord Strathclyde
Leader of the House of Commons- Andrew Lansley
Cabinet minister – Francis Maude
Attorney General – Oliver Heald
Chief Whip – Andrew Mitchell
The Financial Times says
The removal of Justine Greening as transport secretary and the appointment of Patrick McLoughlin as her successor has been widely interpreted as paving the way for the Conservatives to perform a U-turn on Heathrow.
Reshuffle seen to pave way for Heathrow U-turn
Owen Patterson as new Environment Secretary, replacing Caroline Spelman
Roger Harrabin (BBC): Green groups’ concern over Owen Paterson. He is in favour of expanding airport capacity – which would threaten climate targets. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19476970
Conservative Home reported Environment Secretary Ower Paterson wants to end all energy subsidies & fast-track exploitation of shale gas. (reported by BBC at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19476970 )
Damian Carrington (Guardian) writes that Owen Patterson’s appointment as Environment Secretary is a significant weakening of the green voice at the Cabinet table. And of Caroline Spelman that perhaps her conviction that sustainability is not optional, not growth at any cost, was the cause of her downfall.
New environment secretary Owen Paterson will worry greens | Damian Carrington http://gu.com/p/3a74x/tw