Norman and Holden leave DfT in reshuffle

14/11/2023
Chris Ames

Ministers Jesse Norman and Richard Holden have left the Department for Transport (DfT) as part of a cabinet reshuffle that began with the sacking of Suella Braverman as home secretary.

While the headlines were focused on the shock return of former PM David Cameron, now Lord Cameron, to take up the post of foreign secretary, there was also plenty of movement in transport-related roles. 

Conservative MPs Anthony Browne and Guy Opperman have both been appointed to roles as a parliamentary under secretaries of state in the department.

Anthony Browne

Mr Browne was previously the first prime minister’s anti-fraud champion while Mr Opperman was minister of state at the Department for Work and Pensions.

As Mr Norman was a minister of state, his move leaves the DfT with only one minister, Huw Merriman, in the higher ranked position. Baroness Vere is also a parliamentary under secretary of state.

Mark Harper remains as transport secretary, although Steve Barclay replaced Therese Coffey as secretary of state at environment department Defra, which has significant responsibility for air quality, where measures impact traffic management.

Mr Holden gained a significant promotion from being a lower-ranked minister to join the Cabinet as minister without portfolio, reflecting his appointment as chair of the Conservative Party.

Guy Opperman

Mr Norman did not give a reason for his resignation, but wrote in his resignation letter that he had previously told the chief whip of his intention to step down from the Government 'at a suitable time'.

He added that it had been ‘a great honour to serve in successive governments since 2016’, in a variety of ministerial roles.

He was appointed as minister of state (decarbonisation and technology) in the Department for transport in October 2022, which was his second stint in the department.

Mr Norman said that during this time, ‘I am especially glad to have laid the Zero Emission Vehicle mandate, and to have completed the new legislation for self-driving vehicles’.

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