The new ministerial team at the DfT combines a former Staffordshire coal miner, an African educated historian with the continuing wisdom of Norman Baker of the Lib Dems.
The welcome return of popular former shadow transport minister, Stephen Hammond, completes the new line up. Justine Greening, now exiled to International Development, will be remembered for her firm support for High Speed Two and obdurate opposition to another runway at Heathrow. Theresa Villiers is now Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and is a fully fledged cabinet minister.
Patrick McLoughlin, MP for Derbyshire Dales, started life as a farm worker moving on to join his father and grandfather as a coal miner deep under Staffordshire. Educated at the Cardinal Griffin Roman Catholic School and Staffordshire College of Agriculture he worked underground at Littleton Colliery in Cannock. He was a member of the National Union of Mineworkers and served as an industrial representative for the National Coal Board’s Western Area Marketing Department.
However he became involved in Tory politics in the late 1970s. He was Vice-Chairman of the National Young Conservatives and was a Staffordshire County Councillor from 1981 to 1987. Elected to parliament in 1987 he has previous at the DfT under the last Conservative administration. Most recently he operated as Chief Whip.
Simon Burns, MP for Chelmsford, the new Minister of State at the DfT was educated at Christ the King School, Ghana; Stamford School and Worcester College, Oxford. He worked for Senator George McGovern’s presidential election bid against Richard Nixon in 1972, and for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign during the New Hampshire Primary in 2008. He’s been an MP since 1987 and was previously Minister of State for Health.
Stephen Hammond is now Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department for Transport.Born and educated in Southampton, he has an Economics degree from the University of London and has worked in the world of high finance. He was appointed a Director of the Equities division of Dresdner Kleinwort Benson in 1994 and four years later joined Commerzbank Securities.
He was elected MP for Wimbledon in May 2005 and in December 2005 was promoted Shadow Minister for Transport, a position he held until 2010. Stephen is married to Sally and they have a daughter, Alice. He is a practicing Christian.