Conservatives choose shadow transport secretary

Tory leader Rishi Sunak has named the members of his shadow cabinet, in the wake of the Labour landslide in last week’s election.

The new shadow transport secretary is Helen Whately, the MP for Faversham and Mid Kent, who was social care minister in the last government. The last Conservative transport secretary Mark Harper was not a candidate for transport shadow because he lost his seat, while his rail minister Huw Merriman had announced his resignation in May, and did not stand in this election.

On the Labour side, the new transport secretary Louise Haigh, who held the shadow post while Labour was in opposition, will be assisted by Peter Hendy, who is a former London transport commissioner and now the chair of Network Rail. He had also been leading the preparations for the Railway 200 festival next year.

Lord Hendy has been named as minister of state at the DfT, and is set to speak for the government on transport matters in the Lords, but his precise responsibilities have yet to be announced.

The Network Rail website has not yet acknowledged Lord Hendy’s new position in government, and still shows him as chair and board member.

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