Greg Hands joins the Cabinet as Chief Secretary to the Treasury – first MP for Fulham at the Cabinet table since 1970, first MP for Chelsea since 1940

The Prime Minister has appointed Greg Hands, Member of Parliament for Chelsea and Fulham, as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, in the first Cabinet reshuffle following the General Election.

Greg Hands will take up the second most senior position in the Treasury, after the Chancellor, George Osborne, The Chief Secretary is responsible for public expenditure including spending reviews and strategic planning, welfare reform, and efficiency and value for money in public service.

Greg is the first MP for Fulham at the Cabinet table since Labour’s Michael Stewart in 1970, and the first MP for Chelsea since the Conservatives’ Sir Samuel Hoare in 1940.

In his new role Greg will attend meetings of Cabinet as part of the David Cameron’s majority Government.

Commenting on Twitter following his appointment, Greg said: “It is a great honour that David Cameron has appointed me Chief Secretary to the Treasury. I am already hard at work delivering the Long Term Economic Plan.”

Greg later added: “I am delighted to be part of the Treasury Team, charged with building a more secure future for Britain, which is now possible under this new Conservative majority Government.

“At the end of last the Labour Government, the country was borrowing over £150 billion a year and unemployment had increased by nearly half a million. Britain had suffered the deepest recession since the War, and had the second biggest structural deficit of any advanced economy.

“Over the last five years, we have had to make realistic assessments about the state of the British economy and this involved taking difficult decisions to reduce the deficit and control spending. Thanks to the hard work of the British people, this long-term economic plan is working. The deficit is down by half, there are over 2 million more private sector jobs, and there are 760,000 more businesses.

“But the job isn’t done: there is more to do. We intend to run a budget surplus so that we start paying down our debts and keep our economy secure, reduce spending and cut out waste, instead of increasing taxes on working people. We will control the welfare budget so we save money and reward work by taking everyone earning less than £12,500 out of Income Tax altogether and pass a law to ensure we have a Tax-Free Minimum Wage in this country.”

The other Treasury ministers appointed in the reshuffle are David Gauke MP, Financial Secretary; Damian Hinds MP, Exchequer Secretary; Harriett Baldwin MP, Economic Secretary and City Minister; and economist Jim O’Neil who will serve as Commercial Secretary.