POLITICS

Cabinet Committee List Reveals Damian Green As Power Behind The Throne

The Ashford MP is set to become the most important man in government.

21/07/2017 11:05 BST
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Cabinet office minister Damian Green looks set to become the most important figure in government when Parliament returns from recess.

Number 10′s published list shows the Ashford MP will sit on 18 out of 20 cabinet committees and taskforces, chairing eight of them and acting as second in command for nine. 

He will lead both the European affairs and international trade Brexit committees, as well as the social reform home affairs committee and the immigration task force - ahead of chief Brexiteers Liam Fox and David Davis and home secretary Amber Rudd.

ConservativeHome editor and former Tory MP Paul Goodman said the make-up of the key roundtables shows Green is “in charge”.

“At first glance, it looks as though Green has seized control of the country’s radio stations and is playing martial music,” he writes.  

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ConservativeHome editor Paul Goodman says Green is now in charge.

“But the explanation is more prosaic.  This is what comes of making the minister in charge of the Cabinet Office, whose task is to ‘support the prime minister and ensure the effective running of government’ first secretary of state. 

“Green’s predecessor was Ben Gummer, who wasn’t even a full cabinet minister. 

“But he now outranks every other cabinet minister, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer – who, in any event, doesn’t seek to dominate Westminster and Whitehall in the way that his own predecessor, George Osborne, did. 

“So Green is both Osborne and [former cabinet minister] Oliver Letwin, who dominated the cabinet committee-and-sub-committee structure under David Cameron, rolled into one – in a manner of speaking.”

Although he hasn’t been given the deputy prime minister title, Green stood in for Theresa May at PMQs while she met the King of Spain and looks to have cemented his place as one of her closest allies.

He will deputise for May on some of the most important committees, including the National Security Council and for chancellor Philip Hammond on the economy and industrial strategy sub-committee. 

Goodman, former shadow minister for communities and local government, added: “Before the election, the most powerful man in government wasn’t an MP at all: Nick Timothy.  Now it is Green – at least if power is to be measured by formal control.”