Reshuffle Blog, out with the old in with the new?
Following four years in office, with a solid reputation for representing the scientific community, as well as British universities, David Willetts MP has moved on as Minister for Universities and Science. The work he has undertaken will of course be remembered, and we are still looking forward to working on the Catapult for Precision Medicine brought about by David Willetts.
The dual role of David “two brains” Willetts has been taken on by two MPs, George Freeman and Greg Clark.
George Freeman MP has become the Minister for Life Sciences, in a role well suited to his career history and expertise. Mr Freeman was elected as MP for Norfolk, and has recently acted as life sciences advisor to David Willetts from 2011 – 2013. His background is in biomedical science, and has worked for a number of companies, including CEO of a Cambridge start-up. George Freeman has had good links with the IVD industry in the past, and has encouraged joined up working in the life sciences.
Greg Clark was elected in 2005 as MP for Tunbridge Wells. His repertoire now includes Minister of State for Universities and Science as well as retaining his previous - Minister for Cities and Constitution in the Cabinet office. Quite extensive and a bit of a mouthful!
Mr Clark will have a range of responsibilities covering science and research, the Technology Strategy Board, UKAS and the British Standards (BSI), although he will be supported. His new PPS is David Mowat.
Mr Clark is an economist and a former treasury minister. Media sources such as the BBC and the Guardian have raised questions about the support he gave to a bill to make available homeopathic medicine onto the NHS in 2007.
However, at BIVDA we are looking forward to working with them both. Watch this space for further developments!