As a result of new Prime Minister Theresa May’s reshuffle of the Cabinet and Ministers, four Somervillian Members of Parliament have been moved into new roles.
Former Childcare and Education Minister, Sam Gyimah who came to Somerville to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics in 1995, has been appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice. On Saturday 16 July, he announced to his Twitter followers that he was ‘delighted to be appointed as a minister in the Justice Department to help drive progressive reform of the Justice system.’
Mr Gyimah was elected Conservative Member of Parliament for Surrey East at the General Election of 2010. Then, in 2012, he was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, and in 2013 he was appointed a Government Whip.
MP for Suffolk Coastal, Therese Coffey (Chemistry, 1989) has replaced Rory Steward as Waste and Resources Minister at Defra. Dr Coffey was previously the Deputy Leader of the House of Commons serving under Chris Grayling MP and served on the Culture, Media and Sport Committee until she was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Michael Fallon, Minister for Business and Energy. Mr Fallon had responsibility for the WEEE directive which is now overseen by Defra.
Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG
Baroness Neville-Rolfe (PPE, 1970) has been promoted to Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy after having previously been Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (jointly with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport) and Minister for Intellectual Property from May 2015.
The fourth Somervillian to be handed a new post is Nicola Blackwood (Music, 2005), MP for West Oxford and Abingdon, who has been made Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health. She has left her present role as chair of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, but tweeted that she ‘will keep fighting for science and innovation’.
Before the General Election, Miss Blackwood was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Matthew Hancock MP, Minister for Energy and Enterprise (2013-2015) and a key member of the influential Home Affairs Select Committee (2010-2015). She was also previously Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party from 2010-2013.