Kwasi Kwarteng appointed as new construction minister

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Kwasi Kwarteng has been appointed as the UK government’s new construction minister, replacing Nadhim Zahawi who has become minister for vaccine deployment.

Kwarteng, MP for Spelthorne in Surrey, has been at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial strategy since July 2019 where his remit included energy, carbon budgets and green finance. That remit is now expanded to include construction and the nuclear sector.

Hannah Vickers, chief executive of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering, welcomed the appointment of Kwarteng and praised his predecessor. She said: “I would like to welcome Kwasi Kwarteng to the role of construction minister and look forward to meeting with him as soon as possible. I hope he continues the effective work of his predecessor who engaged constructively with all parts of the industry throughout these extremely challenging times.

“The next 18 months are almost as crucial, and when we do meet I will stress how our industry can play a key role as a catalyst for recovery, as an enabler for levelling-up and as the designers of a net zero future. I would also like to thank Nadhim Zahawi for his contribution and support of the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) which has brought the industry together during this difficult period. I am sure his successor will build on the foundations of this good work and continue in the same collaborative spirit.”

Kwarteng becomes the 18th construction minister since 2001. His predecessor, Zahawi, was appointed to the post in August 2019 and was the third person to hold the post during that calendar year.

Infrastructure Intelligence editor Andy Walker said: “It is to be hoped that Kwasi Kwarteng has a longer period in post than his predecessors as construction minister. Otherwise, it will be nigh on impossible for him to have the time to build up the contacts with the industry and understand the sector’s complex issues in order to be effective in his new role.”

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