MPs snag top jobs in Cabinet reshuffle
Local MP Steve Barclay has become the second most senior member of the Government's cabinet following a promotion in yesterday's (Wednesday) reshuffle of top jobs by the Prime Minister.
Mr Barclay, MP for North East Cambs, has been appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Cabinet Office minister.
It is a step up from his most recent role of Chief Secretary to the Treasury, which he took on after previously being Brexit Secretary.
Traditionally, the holder of this role oversaw the daily dealings of the Duchy of Lancaster – a portfolio of land, property and assets belonging to the sovereign in their role as Duke of Lancaster.
Today the Chancellor’s primary role is away from the Duchy. However, Mr Barclay will still be in charge of administering the estates and rents of the Duchy of Lancaster, however the majority of his time will be spent in Westminster.
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster chairs and deputy chairs the cabinet, as well as implementing government business.Mr Barclay will also give oversight to all proposed cabinet policies.
The main responsibility is to act as an adviser to the Prime Minister. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster advises the Prime Minister on the development and implementation of government policy.
Since Brexit the role, which was most recently held by Michael Gove, who was promoted in the reshuffle to Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, also involved the overseeing of the devolution consequences of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
Among the Chancellor's other responsibilities include leading the recovery of public services after Covid-19 and oversight of the Cabinet Office's responsibilities on national security and the civil contingencies secretariat, which looks after emergency planning in the UK .
Mr Barclay has been our local MP since May 2010 and has held a number of government roles.
These also include Minister of State for the Department of Health - January 2018 to November 2018 (when he took on the role of Brexit Secretary); Economic Secretary to the Treasury June 2017 to 2019 and Government Whip from July 2016 to June 2017.
Mr Barclay was not the area's only MP to find themselves with a bigger role to play in government.
Neighbouring MP Liz Truss, who represents South-West Norfolk became the first woman in over a decade to be given the prestigious role of Foreign Secretary. She is also only the second woman to have been given the office, with the only other being Margaret Beckett in 2006 to 2007.
First elected in 2010, Ms Truss represents constituents across Downham, Swaffham and Thetford and the surrounding villages including Upwell and Outwell.