Kwasi Kwarteng appointed BEIS secretary of state

Kwasi Kwarteng has been appointed secretary of state at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), he will replace the RT Hon Alok Sharma who served from 2020 - 2021

Kwasi was previously minister of state at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy between 2019 - 2021. He was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Exiting the European Union from 16 November 2018 to 24 July 2019.

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

The Secretary of State has overall responsibility for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy which brings together responsibilities for business, industrial strategy, science, innovation and energy. This includes:

  • developing and delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy and leading the government’s relationship with business;
  • ensuring that the country has secure energy supplies that are reliable, affordable and clean;
  • ensuring the UK remains at the leading edge of science, research and innovation; and
  • tackling climate change.

Background

Kwasi read classics and history at Trinity College, Cambridge, and then attended Harvard University on a Kennedy Scholarship. He earned a PhD in economic history from the University of Cambridge in 2000.

Before becoming a Member of Parliament, Kwasi worked as an analyst in financial services.

He was elected the Conservative MP for Spelthorne in 2010. From 2010 until 2013 he was a member of the Transport Select Committee, and in 2013 he joined the Work and Pensions Select Committee where he was a member until 2015.

In October 2016 Kwasi joined the Public Accounts Committee, where he was a member until May 2017.

In 2015 Kwasi was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Leader of the House of Lords, and in 2017 he became Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Personal life

Kwasi’s passions include history, music and languages. He has lived in and around London for most of his life. He has authored several books, including Ghosts of Empire, War and Gold and Thatcher’s Trial.

Commentary

Top 10 accountancy firm Mazars says audit reform must be top of the agenda for Kwasi in his new role as Secretary of State for BEIS.

‘Kwasi Kwarteng has a number of key challenges that require urgent attention in his new role as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’, said David Herbinet, global head of audit at Mazars.

Herbinet added: Foremost among these is the government’s long-awaited consultation on audit reform and wider aspects of corporate governance.

‘The proposals in this paper, still unpublished many months after originally scheduled, will have a fundamental impact on the resilience of our capital markets.

The way in which listed and large private companies are governed, the scope of audit, competition and choice in the audit market, and the regulation of auditors and directors.’

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