Freeman and Halfon return as ministers as UK reshuffle continues

New UK prime minister Rishi Sunak brings back old faces in education and business departments

October 27, 2022
George Freeman
Source: Richard Townshend

George Freeman has returned to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as part of the new prime minister Rishi Sunak’s ministerial reshuffle.

The former science minister, who left his post during the final days of Boris Johnson’s administration, has been made a minister of state in the department.

Writing on Twitter, he said it was a “privilege and honour to be appointed by HM The King as Minister of the Crown for Science, Technology & Innovation”.

Nusrat Ghani, who briefly served as science minister under Liz Truss when she was prime minister, has also been reappointed a minister of state in the same department. It was unclear how the responsibilities would be divided between the two and whether Ms Ghani would continue in the expanded brief she was given by Ms Truss, which also included responsibility for “investment security” as well as science.

The pair will serve under Grant Shapps, who has succeeded Jacob Rees-Mogg as business secretary.

Two new ministers have also been appointed at the Department for Education. Nick Gibb, a former long-serving schools minister, has returned a year after he was sacked by Mr Johnson and is likely to be given the schools brief again, according to reports.

Robert Halfon, chair of the Commons Education Committee since 2017 and minister for skills under Theresa May when she was prime minister, has also been appointed a minister of state. His exact responsibilities were still to be confirmed.

They join new education secretary Gillian Keegan, who was appointed by Mr Sunak on 25 October, the fifth person to hold the office in the space of four months.

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Reader's comments (1)

Could we now have some stability.