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Theresa May’s new ministry of posh

2 August 2016

3:39 PM

2 August 2016

3:39 PM

Apart from Boris, where have all the posh boys (and girls) gone in Theresa May’s government? The answer, curiously, is the new department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Secretary of state Greg Clark is impeccably classless, being the product of a Roman Catholic secondary school in Middlesbrough where his father and grandfather were milkmen. But his ministerial team consists of three Old Etonians — Nick Hurd, Jo Johnson and Jesse Norman — plus Margot James (Millfield) and convent girl Baroness Neville-Rolfe.

Reassuringly, however, all five have business experience — and more so than Clark himself, who has quietly climbed the greasy pole as an all-purpose policy wonk. Ex-civil-servant Lucy Neville-Rolfe knows all there is to know about consumer trends, having been an executive director of Tesco, a non-executive director of ITV and chairman of Dobbie’s Garden Centres. Jesse Norman used to work alongside me at Barclays long ago: if he knuckles down to his junior brief, quells his inclination to rebel and bins the OE tie, he’s my tip for quick promotion.


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