Friday 8 January 2021 5:07 pm

Alok Sharma to depart as business secretary as part of mini-reshuffle

Business secretary Alok Sharma is leaving his ministerial role and will be replaced by Kwasi Kwarteng as part of a mini-reshuffle.

Sharma will become full time head of COP26, the UN climate change summit the UK is hosting this year – the largest summit the UK has ever hosted.

As COP26 president, Sharma will be based in the Cabinet Office, continuing as a full member of Cabinet, and will chair the Climate Action Implementation Committee to coordinate government action towards net zero by 2050 in the run up to COP26.

Sharma said: “Through the UK’s Presidency of COP26 we have a unique opportunity, working with friends and partners around the world, to deliver on this goal.

“Given the vital importance of tackling climate change I am delighted to have been asked by the Prime Minister to dedicate all my energies to this urgent task.”

Just days ago Sharma offered to resign from his ministerial position to head up COP26.

The former business secretary reportedly told Prime Minister Boris Johnson that he would rather give up his position as business minister than step down from his role in climate change envoy.

Kwasi Kwarteng will step up to the plate as the new business secretary and Anne-Marie Trevelyan will become minister of state for business, energy and clean growth, replacing Kwarteng.