From the top · 18 July 2016

Anna Soubry and Ed Vaizey lose top jobs as Theresa May’s cabinet reshuffle goes on

Ed Viazy 2
Ed Vaizey has lost his role as the minister responsible for digital policy and the digital economy at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport

Continuing what has been one of the most dramatic and far-reaching cabinet reshuffles in recent years, new prime minister Theresa May has put further distance between her government and that of David Cameron – with a number of ministerial changes in key roles.

Anna Soubry, who supported May’s leadership bid, no longer holds the role of small business minister. In a message posted on Twitter on 15 July, the member of parliament for Broxtowe simply stated: “I tendered my resignation this morning. Looking forward to representing my constituents and long-standing views.”

As well as Soubry, another key name on Business Advice’s inaugural list of 30 key Small Business Decision Makers – Ed Vaizey – has also lost his role. A good friend of Cameron, the former culture minister is one of the longest-standing cabinet ministers to be forced out of their government role in the week following May’s appointment.

Former small business minister Matthew Hancock has replaced Vaizey as the minister responsible for digital policy and the digital economy at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Other relevant appointments include Damien Hinds as minister of state at the Department of Work and Pensions, and Jo Johnson as minister of state at the newly-formed Department for Business, Energy and Industrial strategy.

Former Enterprise Nation head and leading entrepreneur Emma Jones has been named as the government’s small business crown representative. Working as part of the Crown Commercial Service in tandem with government departments, Jones has been charged with helping Britain’s smaller businesses bid for government procurement contracts.

Jones’ appointment follows the government’s manifesto pledge to spend £1 in every £3 with smaller firms by 2020.

Jones said in a statement: “Over the next 12 months, I’ll be supporting small businesses in getting tender ready, connecting them with buyers from central government and tier one suppliers, and shining a spotlight on those who have successfully made sales.”

“I’m delighted to be working in this role and helping government realise the target of £1 in every £3 spent with small business by 2020,” she added.

Missed our interview with Emma Jones? Catch up on her view of the UK small business landscape here, and stay tuned to Business Advice this week for an exclusive chat with Jones about her new role.

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Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.