Top reshuffle changes for the voluntary sector

Katie Howe was part of NCVO’s Parliamentary and Media Team and has now left NCVO. Her posts have been archived here for reference.

Yesterday was reshuffle day. All eyes were on Number 10 as promoted ministers arrived looking breezy, and others left disappointed leaving Downing Street.

Exciting stuff, but what does this mean for charities? Here’s our quick guide to the recent reshuffle changes for the voluntary sector:

The Government Reshuffle

Two changes to George Osborne’s treasury team: Sajid Javid and Nicky Morgan. Reshuffled last year to the Treasury, Sajid Javid has now been appointed as Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and Nicky Morgan has taken his former role, to become Economic Secretary to the Treasury. Both will be crucial players in decisions over government spending.

Greg Clark has been moved to the Cabinet Office from the Treasury where he served as Financial Secretary to the Treasury, replacing former minister Chloe Smith following her resignation. His responsibilities will comprise of cities and constitution issues specifically. For the voluntary sector’s interest, we think this will mean that he will have some role around the lobbying bill, and we are waiting for the full list of ministerial responsibilities to confirm he will also take on the procurement side of the brief.

Promoted in Cameron’s last reshuffle to Disabilities Minister, Esther McVey is on her way up again having been promoted to Employment Minister. Her role will cover a number of responsibilities that many in the charity sector will be interested in, including the Work Programme, employment, and apprenticeships.

Also promoted to the Department for Work and Pensions was Mike Penning who has been shuffled into the position of Minister for Work and Pensions – covering welfare, unemployment and pensions.

Shailesh Vara gained his first ministerial position, having been appointed Parliamentary under Secretary at the Ministry of Justice. Although his full ministerial responsibilities have not been published, it may be safe to assume he will be involved in the government’s rehabilitation agenda – a key area for charities in the justice field.

And for those in the education and skills sectors – Matt Hancock, having previously been responsible for further education, skills and lifelong learning, has been promoted to take on a wider remit as Skills and Enterprise Minister, which will be spread over two departments (Education and Business, Innovation and Skills).

Shadow Cabinet

Instead of drip feeding politicians and the media with nuggets of reshuffle gossip, Labour published a full list of the new shadow cabinet late afternoon yesterday. There are some key changes here for the charity sector:

Lisa Nandy – Elected in 2010 for Wigan, Lisa Nandy was promoted last year into the Shadow Children’s Minister, and has now been reshuffled to become Shadow Charities Minister in the Shadow Cabinet Office. Now in a vital role for the sector and for Labour’s relationship with charities, we should note that Lisa should have a good understanding of the sector, having worked in a policy role at The Children’s Society immediately prior to becoming an MP.

Michael Dugher – having already been part of the wider shadow cabinet meetings – has been appointed as Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, replacing Jon Trickett, who previously led on various voluntary sector issues for Labour.

Rachel Reeves has been reshuffled to Shadow Work and Pensions Minister from the Treasury. One of the intake from 2010, Rachel Reeves has been promoted several times since, having joined the shadow cabinet just 18 months after entering parliament. An economist by profession, her role will cover a range of issues important to the voluntary sector, including welfare and employment.

Looking to the next election, it is also noteworthy that Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander has been tasked with the role of chairing Labour’s general election strategy – a role that will become increasingly important as 2015 nears.

More changes to Labour’s frontbench for the voluntary sector include Tristram Hunt’s promotion to the shadow cabinet as Education Minister, and Emma Reynolds’ appointment as Housing Minister.

That’s all for now…

This is by no means an exhaustive list of reshuffle announcements, and the full lists to can be found for Her Majesty’s Government and Labour’s Shadow Cabinet. There may even be more changes to come – we’ll keep an eye out. We’d love to hear your thoughts on who the key players are for the voluntary sector, so please do get in touch.

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