Pensions minister moves department in reshuffle

Hexham MP Guy Opperman has been named as a parliamentary under secretary of state at the DWP as Harrington moves in reshuffle

Former pensions minister Richard Harrington has been moved out of his position after less than a year in the role.

He will become a minister at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as part of a Government reshuffle following last week’s general election.

According to the BEIS website, Harrington will take the title of parliamentary under secretary of state, but his precise duties are yet to be confirmed.

Harrington replaced Ros Altmann as pensions minister in July last year. His official title was parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department for Work and Pensions.

In January he set out his priorities for the year including continuing the rollout of automatic enrolment and launching a green paper looking into defined benefit pension schemes.

Hexham MP Guy Opperman, who was appointed Government Whip (Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury) in July 2016, has been named as a parliamentary under secretary of state at the DWP.

The DWP website says Opperman’s ministerial responsibilities will also be “confirmed in due course”.

Two recent Treasury ministers lost their seats in the election: former chief secretary to the Treasury Jane Ellison and former economic secretary Simon Kirby.

Ellison was working to steer through the Finance Bill, which legislates for the proposed cut to the money purchase annual allowance, and had fronted Government responses to challenges from Labour to make advice of the Lifetime Isa compulsory.