UK PM Sunak reshuffles cabinet, breaks up two

UK PM Sunak reshuffles cabinet, breaks up two

LONDON: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak reshuffled his cabinet on Tuesday, breaking up two departments in order to better suit his pledges to spur the economy and turn around his party's fortunes before an election next year.

Sunak created a new energy security and net zero department led by former business minister Grant Shapps, and three other departments, with one focusing on science and innovation, a personal passion for the British leader.

The ex- finance minister and multi-millionaire, who once worked for a hedge fund, is trying to steer the economy through a period of double-digit inflation and stagnation, a situation worsened by the soaring cost of energy.

He is under pressure to prove his belief that Britain can reap the benefits of leaving the European Union by developing new trade ties with international partners.

Sunak said on Twitter that the government needs to reflect the priorities of the British people and be designed to deliver for them. The teams will focus on the issues that will build a better future for our children and grandchildren. His spokesperson said that the changes, which were welcomed and criticised in equal measure by business groups and green energy supporters, might not offer a silver bullet to all Britain's ills, but it would help Sunak deliver on his agenda.

Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch was given an expanded role, including business and trade.

Culture Minister Michelle Donelan was appointed to run the department for science, innovation and technology, while former housing minister Lucy Frazer took over the new role for culture, media and sport.

Greg Hands, a former trade minister and a one-time party enforcer for the Conservatives, was appointed chairman of the party.