Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Boles moves on

The Planning Minister, Nick Boles, has left De-CLoG to become Minister of State jointly for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education. Penny Mordaunt (who?) has been appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in De-CLoG. I am not sure yet whether she is Boles’ replacement as Planning Minister, or whether there may be a re-arrangement of ministerial responsibilities in the Department. No doubt this will become clear in the next day or so.

There is no news of Uncle Eric, who is apparently staying put. Perhaps he was just too difficult to move. On 12 July, the Daily Mirror speculated that Ian Duncan Smith and Eric Pickles could be among the front bench casualties in the reshuffle. Both are still in post, so it looks as though the Mirror may need a new set of crystal balls.

Meanwhile, Owen Patterson has got the bullet at DEFRA. He turned up in Somerset without his wellies to see the floods, but proved that he was unable to walk on water. His departure has been widely welcomed. Liz Truss has taken over as the Secretary of State at DEFRA. So the next flood disaster, when it happens, will land on her desk.

[UPDATE: Just one minute after I posted this item, Eric Pickles tweeted: Just spoken to the PM I am very honoured to continue as Secretary of State at DCLG. ]


  1. What do you mean "Penny Mordaunt (who?)"?

    Did you not watch the local address - the response to the Queen's speech?

    One of the best pieces of parliamentary entertainment for many years.

    View it here:


  2. Anthony in London15 July 2014 at 23:33

    Maybe just maybe this will set a precedent; if Uncle Eric starts responding to your criticisms within one minute... Maybe there's still some hope.

  3. Charles Mynors16 July 2014 at 09:14

    It appears that Brandon Lewis has the planing brief in place of Boles. See https://www.gov.uk/government/people/brandon-lewis

    At least he is a lawyer, with experience of local government, so he may have some idea of how it all works. Or doesn't.

    Charles Mynors

  4. Boles' time will be judged favourably, I think. While not everything he did worked, his focus on the importance of more building (in the face of selfish opposition, which probably cost him the job in the end) was true public service.

    I suspect Ms Mordaunt will be expected not to rock the boat in the run-up to the election.

  5. More reaction here... http://planningblog.planningresource.co.uk/2014/07/16/boles-the-verdict/

  6. I have just found time to view Penny Mordaunt's speech proposing the Loyal Address in response to the Queen's Speech (as recommended by David Gurtler in his comment of 15 July). It was impressive (although I didn't agree with its political stance, of course).

    Was this Penny Mordaunt's job application for a ministerial post? If so, it was a winning one. If she can hang on to her seat in the General Election, then she may prove to be a rising star.