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No move on key transport post in reshuffle

Westminster Bridge

Transport secretary Chris Grayling has remained in post despite speculation during yesterday’s cabinet reshuffle that he had been made Conservative party chairman.

Grayling, who was made transport secretary in July 2016, kept his position after the Conservative party seemed to suggest he would be made party chairman in a now-deleted tweet.

Great Yarmouth MP and former immigration minister Brandon Lewis claimed the role instead after former transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin, most recently Conservative party chair, stepped down.

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) secretary Greg Clark also kept his role in a reshuffle which saw little change in the top posts. The Sun political editor Tom Newton Dunn said Clark had been marked for a move but health secretary Jeremy Hunt refused the role of business secretary.

In his time as transport secretary Grayling has overseen the government’s commitment to HS2 and given the green light to Heathrow expansion. However, he has become a controversial figure in the rail industry over his record on rail electrification.

In July Grayling scrapped plans to electrify the route in South Wales and the North of England, as well as sections of the Midland Main Line. Later this month he will appear before the Commons transport committee for a second time over his cancellation of the rail electrification schemes.

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