Who's who in DfID's new team?

26 Jul 2016

Confused about the current state of British politics? Feel like it’s changing every five minutes? You’d be forgiven for having no idea who’s coming and going in leadership contests, let alone each governmental department. Luckily, we’ve created a short guide so you know who’s who in DfID’s new team.  

Secretary of State for International Development

 IN: Rt Hon Priti Patel MP

 OUT: Rt Hon Justine Greening

Priti Patel was appointed by Prime Minister Theresa May as the new Secretary of State for International Development. Before her career as an MP, Priti worked in the Conservative Research Department and became the Deputy Press    Secretary to the Rt Hon William Hague when he was Leader of the Opposition. In 2010, she was elected as MP for Witham, Essex, becoming the first Conservative Asian woman MP. As a backbencher, Priti served on the 1922        Committee’s Executive and was appointed to sit on the Conservative Party Policy Board. She became the Prime Minister’s first ever UK India Diaspora Champion, and was promoted to Exchequer Secretary. In 2015, she was                  subsequently re-elected and became the Minister of State for Employment at the Department for Work and Pensions. A longstanding supporter of leaving the EU, Priti championed the Vote Leave campaign, arguing that Brexit would be better for UK business and the economy.

Priti has a particular interest in business, investment and trade, advocating for small state, free-market economics in Britannia Unchained. Previous comments that DfID should be replaced with a Department for International Trade and Development have received a lot of media attention. But so far, Priti has emphasised DfID’s role in ‘deepening our international partnerships’ and ‘supporting economic prosperity, stability and security overseas.’ In her statement, she committed to keep the previous government’s promises to the world’s poorest people, while promoting Britain’s national interest. Read her full statement here. Despite the media furore, it remains to be seen exactly what Priti Patel will mean for DfID.

Minister of State for International Development

 IN: Rory Stewart MP

OUT: Rt Hon Sir Desmond Swayne

Rory Stewart OBE started his career as an officer in the British Army before joining the UK Diplomatic service. After working in the British Embassy in Indonesia, he served as the British representative to Montenegro and as the coalition  Deputy-Governor of two provinces in Iraq.

Rory is extremely well travelled and has written three books about his experiences in foreign affairs. On leave from the Foreign Service, he walked on foot for 21 months crossing Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal. Rory also lived in Kabul for two years, where he founded a local NGO Turquoise Mountain and established a clinic and primary school in the city. Rory received two awards for his work in Iraq and Afghanistan, including an OBE. In 2008, he was appointed as the Ryan Family Professor of the Practice of Human Rights and Director of the Carr Centre of Human Rights at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Rory was elected as MP for Penrith and The Border in 2010. In parliament, he has served on several select committees, chairing the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Defence Committee. Previously Minister for the Environment and Rural Affairs at DEFRA, he campaigned to remain in the EU, emphasising environmental benefits for the UK. Under Theresa May’s new government, Rory was appointed as Minister of State at the Department for International Development. In his new role, Rory has highlighted the UK’s responsibility to the world’s poorest to tackle global problems and create a ‘prosperous and more stable world’. Read his full statement here

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development

 

IN: James Wharton MP

OUT: Nick Hurd MP

James Wharton was elected as an MP for Stockton South in 2010. Before his career in politics, James worked as a solicitor practising company law and is a former Officer Training Corps cadet.  In parliament, James has served as a  member of the Public Accounts Committee and was elected to the Board of the Conservative Party. A prominent Eurosceptic, James sponsored the blocked private member’s EU referendum bill in 2013. Upon re-election in 2015, he was  promoted to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government, with responsibility for the Northern Powerhouse. In his ministerial role, he continued to campaign for Vote Leave, urging  Britain to  'look to the world and not just the EU'.

James has a particular interest in Sri Lanka, which he has visited on delegation with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. He is also a member of the Conservative Friends of Israel group. 

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development

 IN: The Rt Hon. the Baroness Anelay of St Johns DBE

OUT: The Baroness Verma

Baroness Anelay was appointed to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development, a position that she holds in addition to her ministerial role at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Previously, this was not a  joint role but has been changed under the new government.

The Baroness served as an Opposition Spokesperson for various departments and was Opposition Chief Whip. In 2014, she was appointed Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, where she holds responsibility for Overseas Territories, the Commonwealth, human rights, migration and climate change, the UN and other international organisations. She has also been appointed as the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, where she works with governments, the UN, civil society and others to deliver effective multilateral responses to crimes of sexual violence in conflict.

Before being raised to the peerage, Baroness Anelay worked as a history teacher and served as Chair of the Management Committee and President of the Citizens Advice Bureau.

So there we have it: DfID’s new team. Further updates to follow. Watch this space…

 

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