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Theresa May Supporter Chris Grayling Appointed New Transport Secretary

Chris Grayling has been appointed as the new Transport Secretary as a mark of his continued loyalty to new Prime Minister Theresa May.

Grayling was the chairman of May’s successful leadership bid and backed the Leave campaign in the European Referendum.

He spent two years as Justice Secretary before he was replaced by leadership hopeful Michael Gove a year ago and he has since held the post of leader of the House of Commons.

The role of Transport Secretary has taken on extra significance over the next few years with several crucial decisions to be made on projects of national importance, which May must find immediate solutions for.

Included in these decisions is the High Speed 2 rail programme which is estimated to cost around £55.7 million, on which £1.4 billion has already been spent as the scheme continues to face strong criticism due to the cost.

The Cabinet must also decide on runway expansion, as May outlined earlier in the week and although the new PM is not likely to support the expansion at Heathrow, she has promised to listen to Cabinet views before making a final decision.

Grayling has also got previous experience of overseeing the work of transport in government after he spent almost two years as Shadow Transport Secretary from 2005 to 2007.

Grayling is MP for the constituency of Epsom and Ewell and although this is not near the Heathrow flightpath, it is just 29km from Gatwick,

He has not come out to declare support for either Heathrow or Gatwick, but in 2009 it was reported that Grayling had voiced concerns in private over the party’s opposition to the expansion of Heathrow.

Grayling is a supporter of the HS2 project and voted in support of the line throughout the Preparation Bill and Hybrid Bill processes. In March, he was one of the 399 voters to pass HS2 through the House of Commons.

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BDC 318 : Jul 2024