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Prime Minister and Secretary of State launch ‘Levelling Up’ taskforce as beefed-up Ministry gets rebrand

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is to become the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, the Government has announced.

Former Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane has also been named head of a Levelling Up Taskforce, joining the Cabinet Office as a permanent secretary on secondment from the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) for six months.

The taskforce has been jointly established by the Prime Minister and Michael Gove, who was appointed Secretary of State in last week’s Cabinet reshuffle.

The Government said: “The Secretary of State will drive cross-Whitehall efforts to deliver a programme of tangible improvements in every part of the UK as we build back better from the pandemic, and deliver on the people’s priorities.”

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The Secretary of State will have responsibility for United Kingdom governance and elections. He will therefore also take on the additional title of Minister for Intergovernmental Relations, working closely with the Territorial Offices and leading coordination with the devolved administrations on the Prime Minister’s behalf.

He will be supported in the department by new Minister of State Kemi Badenoch and Neil O’Brien, who has been appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State.

Reappointed to the department are Ministers of State Christopher Pincher and Lord Greenhalgh, and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Eddie Hughes.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “This government is committed to uniting and levelling up every part of the UK and I am determined that as we build back better from the pandemic we are geared up with the teams and expertise to deliver on that promise.

“Andy is uniquely qualified to lead our efforts to raise living standards, spread opportunity, improve our public services and restore people’s sense of pride in their communities. I look forward to working with him, and with my new ministerial team, to deliver the opportunities this country needs.”

Michael Gove said: “I’m thrilled that the PM has asked me to lead the Levelling Up agenda, the defining mission of this government.

“With a superb team of ministers and officials in a new department, our relentless focus will be on delivering for those overlooked families and undervalued communities across the United Kingdom.

“We have a unique opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives.”

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