New PM signals all change at the top for travel

Image via Charlie Bard /

The government reshuffle by new prime minister Theresa May has produced changes at the top of every department dealing with travel and tourism.

Former foreign secretary Philip Hammond takes over at the Treasury as Chancellor and will have ultimate responsibility for air passenger duty (APD) and VAT. George Osborne was sacked.

New transport secretary Chris Grayling will have responsibility for airport capacity in the southeast, with outgoing transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin having promised a decision this autumn after repeated delays. However, the decision will be made by an inner cabinet committee.

McLoughlin has taken over as Tory party chairman. It’s unclear as yet whether there will be changes to ministers at the Department for Transport, including the transport minister who is ultimately responsible for the Atol arrangements.

May has placed supporters of a British exit from the EU in charge of negotiations with EU leaders. David Davis, who was excluded from David Cameron’s cabinets, becomes Brexit secretary as head of a new department responsible for negotiating the terms of an exit.

He will be responsible for ensuring the UK remains part of a common European aviation agreement.

The appointment as foreign secretary of former London Mayor and leading Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson was seen as a surprise. Johnson will have ultimate responsibility for Foreign Office advice and overseas embassies as well as international relations.

A third Brexit campaigner, Liam Fox, becomes international trade secretary and will be responsible for securing trade agreements.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has a new secretary of state in Karen Bradley, who worked under May at the Home Office. She replaces John Whittingdale.

Tracey Crouch will continue as sports, tourism and heritage minister, and she tweeted: “Absolutely delighted to be staying on as sports, tourism & heritage minister @DCMS.”

Amber Rudd takes over at the Home Office and will be responsible for border control.

A new Department of Business, Energy, Industry and Skills (BEIS) will combine the former departments of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and elements of the disbanded Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

This will be responsible for the new Package Travel Regulations and be led by Greg Clark. Former BIS secretary Sajid Javid becomes communities secretary.

Back at the Treasury, David Gauke takes over as chief secretary and will have responsibility for APD.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will be headed by Andrea Leadsom, another Brexiteer, and Damian Green takes over at the Department for Work and Pensions.

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