Industry groups sent their requests to the new business secretary just hours after David Cameron told him he got the job yesterday, with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and the EEF all contacting Sajid Javid.
CBI Director-General John Cridland said Javid was “an excellent Treasury minister and will be a strong voice for the business community.”
“We want to encourage more companies, especially Britain’s forgotten army of medium-sized businesses, to boost exports and investment, to drive growth and create jobs up and down the country,” Cridland added.
BCC director general John Longworth also said his group wanted the new business secretary to focus on trade, writing that Javid “should be kick-starting a revolution in exports, to get more companies trading around the world.”
“Businesspeople will appreciate the fact that the new secretary of state has worked in business both here in the UK and around the world,” Longworth added, referencing Javid’s private sector experience as a banker with Deutsche Bank and Chase Manhattan.
But it was the EEF that made arguably the strongest demand of Javid, with chief executive Terry Scuoler saying: “I am sure [Javid] understands that the vast majority of businesses he will now be representing in government want Britain to remain at the heart of a reformed Europe.”
MORE MINISTERS GIVEN BUSINESS BRIEFS
CHIEF SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY
The new job is a promotion for the former deputy chief whip, who will now be the treasury’s number two behind chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne. Hands has experience working with Osborne, having served as a shadow treasury minister from 2009-2010, and a parliamentary private secretary (PPS) to the chancellor at the start of the previous government. A former banker who worked in London and New York, Hands first entered politics in 1998, when he was elected as a London councillor in Hammersmith. He went on to be elected to parliament in 2005, and has experience on both the communities and local government and European scrutiny select committees.
SMALL BUSINESS MINISTER
Soubry takes on an unprecedented title as small business minister in the department of business, innovation and skills (BIS). Matthew Hancock was minister for business and enterprise in the last government, and a BIS spokesperson told City A.M. yeseterday it was unclear if Soubry would have the same responsibilities as Hancock, who was moved to the cabinet office in the reshuffle. Soubry, who was first elected MP in 2010, previously held under-secretary roles in public health and defence. Most recently, she served as minister of state for defence personnel, welfare and veterans. The former journalist is also a criminal barrister, having been called to the bar in 1995.