Need to know: Transport secretary Chris Grayling


Chris Grayling has been rewarded for his loyalty to Theresa May with the role of transport secretary.

Mr Grayling, who backed Brexit during the EU referendum campaign, was the chairman of Theresa May’s successful leadership campaign.

His appointment comes over a year after he was replaced as justice secretary by leadership hopeful Michael Gove – he spent two years in the role.

Since then he has held the role of leader of the House of Commons.

The transport brief takes on extra significance, with a number of key decisions to be made over nationally significant projects – decisions to which Mrs May has to find immediate solutions.

Those include the £55.7bn High Speed 2 programme, on which £1.4bn has already been spent but which continues to come under fire for its costs.

The decision on runway expansion is also a matter for Cabinet, as made clear by Mrs May earlier this week.

Though the PM is unlikely to favour Heathrow’s expansion, she has indicated she will listen to the views of Cabinet before making her decision.

Mr Grayling has previous experience overseeing the transport brief, spending nearly two years as shadow transport secretary from 2005 to 2007.

On Heathrow: As MP of Epsom and Ewell, Mr Grayling’s constituency is not near the flightpath of Heathrow but is instead 29 km from Gatwick.

He hasn’t gone on record declaring support for Gatwick or Heathrow. In 2009, the Independent reported that Mr Grayling had privately voiced concerns over the party’s opposition to Heathrow.

On HS2: The new transport secretary is a supporter of HS2. He has voted in favour of the line throughout the line’s Preparation Bill and Hybrid Bill processes. He was one of 399 voters to vote HS2 through the House of Commons in March.

Roads: Mr Grayling is against road pricing. As shadow transport secretary he said a national road pricing scheme for roads was not “realistically achievable in the near future”.

Voting record

Generally voted for lower taxes on fuel for motor vehicles.

Almost always voted for higher taxes on plane tickets.

Consistently voted against slowing the rise in rail fares.

Almost always voted for reducing the rate of corporation tax.

Generally voted for measures to reduce tax avoidance.

Voted a mixture of for and against stronger tax incentives for companies to invest in assets.

Has never voted on ending financial support for some 16-19-year-olds in training and further education, according to the website

Registered interests

Mr Grayling has land and property portfolio of more than £100,000 providing him with a rental income of over £10,000 a year.

He also employs his wife Sue Grayling as office manager, according to the website

Former roles

Justice secretary: Sep 2012–May 2015

Employment minister: May 2010–Sep 2012

Shadow home secretary: Jan 2009–May 2010

Shadow work and pensions secretary: July 2007–Jan 2009

Shadow transport secretary: Dec 2005–July 2007

Shadow leader of the House of Commons: May 2005–Dec 2005


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BDC 305 Jun 2023