Mark Hoban is taking over from Chris Grayling as Minister of State for Work and Pensions. Esther McVey is taking over from Maria Miller as Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Work and Pensions (though it's not known if she'll also be Minister for the Disabled).
http://thepotterblogger.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/who-are-new-dwp-ministers.html Tuesday, 4 September 2012 Who are the new DWP ministers? So, in the current government reshuffle, two notable changes are the departure from the DWP of Chris Grayling and Maria Miller. Instead they have been replaced with two people who most members of the public will never have heard of. They are Esther McVey (former parliamentary private secretary to Chris Grayling) and Mark Hoban (the former Treasury Minister), with both of them being Conservatives. That these are the new job holders is probably certain given that the official Number 10 twitter account has tweeted the appointments. Mark Hoban is taking over from Chris Grayling as Minister of State for Work and Pensions. Esther McVey is taking over from Maria Miller as Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Work and Pensions (though it's not known if she'll also be Minister for the Disabled). Now, as McVey has been working in the DWP as Chris Grayling's chief assistant since 2010 she obviously has experience of working in the DWP while Hoban has none with his previous parliamentary experience being in science and technology, education and the treasury. However, with both of them, their personal opinions and approaches to the DWP's work are pretty much unknown. That being said, it's obvious that neither of them are being in to rock the boat. Both of their job moves are promotions so my guess would be that Number 10 just wants them to pretty much keep things going the way they are under the auspices of their immediate boss Iain Duncan-Smith (who's presence will mean that the welfare reforms will keep going but who also is disliked by the treasury for fighting ferociously to protect his department from cuts). So, to give us a better idea who these two new ministers are, I'm going to start with brief biopics of each of them. Mark Hoban Economist and former financial analyst. Married with no children. MP for Fareham in Hampshire, a Conservative safe seat, and member of the Conservative front bench since 2003 - primarily in finance related roles - and is viewed as a 'hard-nosed' safe pair of hands. However, based on an interview on the Today programme and looking at the analysis of the interview by Touchstone, where he defended the housing benefit cuts and changes to DLA, while refuting analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies' analysis of the changes (based on the DWP's figures) as being likely to significantly increase poverty. From this he's either good at spouting the government line or a fool who actually believes it. Personally I think it's more likely to be the latter. However, given that he's got no previous experience in this area and doesn't appear to have ever shown an interest, it's pretty impossible to tell what kind of job he'll do in his new role. Esther McVey Former TV presenter and businesswoman. Single. MP for Wirral West in Merseyside, a marginal seat which she won from Labour in 2010 after losing in 2005. She's also a supporter of Conservative Way Forward, a neo-Thatcherite group within the tories (albeit one which also supported David Cameron's modernising agenda). While this and the fact that she (unsurprisingly) supported her boss's welfare reforms in public, is rather unpromising, what her personal opinions are is anyone's guess and she is patron of a disabled children charity called 'Full Of Life'. The best thing about her I've been able to turn up so far is that she doesn't appear to have copied her boss's habit of describing disabled people as workshy and scroungers - it's early days yet though. Additionally, she did manage to get Grant Shapps to visit families living in partially demolished streets in her constituency when he was Housing Minister with the result that he made an extra £75 million available to help families trapped in those and similar situations - so not without some sense of decency then. Can be found on twitter as @EstherMcVeyMP. Posted by George W. Potter at 19:12
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