MP expected to return to Science Committee if he loses Cabinet job

Greg Clark, the newly-appointed Levelling Up Secretary, arrives for a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, London, the first since Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned as Conservative Party leader. Picture date: Thursday July 7, 2022.

Greg Clark was last night (Tuesday) waiting to find out if he is to remain in the Government following the election of Liz Truss as PM.

The Tunbridge Wells MP returned to Cabinet in July after replacing Michael Gove as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities after his predecessor was sacked by Boris Johnson.

Ms Truss, who beat rival Rishi Sunak in the Conservative Party membership vote this week, was officially made PM yesterday (Tuesday) after being asked to form a government by The Queen.

The new premier has yet to announce her new Cabinet, although many posts were expected to be filled before morning as the Times went to press last night.

If Mr Clark is replaced as a minister, many in Westminster expect the MP to reapply for the position as Chairman of the Commons’ Science and Technology Select Committee.

He had to resign from the backbench committee after accepting his government role in July, but due to the summer recess, nominations for a new chair do not close until next week on Tuesday, September 13.

And there are no parliamentary rules barring Mr Clark from running for the position again.

During his tenure as Committee chair, Mr Clark found himself front and centre of national politics as he took over of the post just before the Covid pandemic hit the UK.

As Chairman, Mr Clark oversaw a damning report by his committee that highlighted serious errors and delays to the government’s response to the pandemic.

The wide-ranging report made 38 recommendations, most of which the Government agreed to take on board in some form.

If there is only one candidate for the post, the Speaker is likely to announce the result that day.

If more than one nomination is received, a ballot will take place on Wednesday, September 14 and the results would be announced in the Chamber later that day.

Candidates require 15 signatures from their own party to be nominated.

Mr Clark was unavailable to comment on his plans this week.


Greg Clark out but Tom Tugendhat in?

Political analysists believe that while Greg Clark will not be retained by Liz Truss when she formalises her Cabinet this week, a post could be made for Tonbridge MP Tom Tugendhat.

Following his impressive performance during the leadership campaign, the current Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee could be offered a government job in the Home Office.

According to The Telegraph at the weekend, Mr Tugendhat is being tipped for the role of Security Minister – a position currently occupied by Stephen McPartland, the MP for Stevenage.

If he accepts the junior minister role, Mr Tugendhat, who has never held a government post before, would have to step down from the Foreign Affairs Select Committee.

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