Former culture secretary Sajid Javid has been announced as the new business secretary - replacing Vince Cable - and business leaders have wasted no time in urging him to build on the Coalition’s industrial strategy - and keep Britain in Europe.
The Bromsgrove MP was handed the job after Dr Cable, a Lib Dem MP, lost his seat to Conservative candidate Tania Mathias in Twickenham.
It reflected a shock swing in Thursday’s general election that returned the Tories to Government with a majority.
EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, urged Sajid Javid to ‘build on the success’ of Dr Cable’s industrial strategy, maintain funding for R&D and exporters and help ensure the Government delivers big infrastructure projects, including a new hub airport runway.
Andy Tuscher, Yorkshire and Humber region EEF director, said: “Sajid Javid takes on this critical brief at a pivotal time for the economy and industry. Business needs stability and continuity in policy and the Government’s commitment to a long-term economic plan and business strategy remains key.
“The new Secretary of State will also play an important role in any EU negotiations and in the forthcoming referendum and I am sure he understands that the vast majority of businesses he will now be representing in Government want Britain to remain at the heart of a reformed Europe.”
John Cridland, director general of the Confederation of British Industry, said: “He was an excellent Treasury Minister and will be a strong voice for the business community.
“We want to encourage more companies, especially Britain’s forgotten army of medium-sized businesses, to boost exports and investment, to drive growth and create jobs up and down the country. We look forward to working with Sajid to achieve this.
“As an immediate step, we want the Government to set out a clear business plan for its first 100 days, including getting the deficit down, finding new ways to deliver public services and committing to the Airports Commission’s final decision on a new runway this summer.
“We also need policies to bolster our supply chains, and make the UK the destination of choice for manufacturing high-value products.”
Sheffield Chamber executive director Richard Wright, said his main concern was around the union and membership of Europe.
“MPs from all parties will need to work hard to ensure this does not lead to massive disruption, and objectives focused too much around vested interests, or we sense a real challenge to the union.”