Chelsea & Fulham MP Greg Hands as been appointed as the Government’s new minister for London, replacing Gavin Barwell who lost his Croydon Central seat at last week’s general election.
The minister for London role had been dormant in recent years but was revived by Theresa May when she became Prime Minister last summer in a decision which was privately opposed by some Conservatives on the London Assembly who felt it undermined their position as scrutineers of Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Other London politicians and commentators have also suggested the role would not have been resurrected had Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith won the Mayoral election last May.
Since losing his seat last week Mr Barwell has been appointed as the Prime Minister’s chief of staff and will be responsible for helping steady her Downing Street operation after the expected election landslide failed to materialise and Mrs May found herself heading a minority administration.
On Twitter Mr Hands, whose appointment was confirmed on Tuesday, said he was “looking forward to working with Mayor Sadiq Khan to pursue where we have common interests in promoting & improving London.”
In addition to his London duties, Mr Hands will continue to serve as a minister in the Department for International Trade under trade secretary Dr Liam Fox.
“It’s great to be returning to the Department to support Liam Fox, to deliver on our plans to get more businesses exporting, to maintain and increase investment and to build Britain’s free trading future,” said Mr Hands in a statement.
“As the new Minister for London, I also look forward to supporting this great city’s businesses to seize the opportunities which new trade relationships will bring, placing London at the heart of Global Britain.
“As a London MP, and International Trade Minister, I’ll be showcasing all that’s best about London to the world, with its unbeatable dynamism and innovation.