Donelan promoted to universities minister and says FE to be decided tomorrow

Michelle Donelan has been appointed as the new universities minister – and has not ruled out also taking on the FE and skills brief.

The MP for Chippenham has been covering for Kemi Badenoch as children and families parliamentary under secretary of state, with some responsibilities for FE, while she has been on maternity leave.

Downing Street announced today that Donelan has been promoted to a minister of state role in the Department for Education. Badenoch has been moved to the Treasury as a minister.

Speaking to FE Week after her appointment, Donelan said: “I’m going to be the minister for universities.”

Asked if she would also be taking on the FE and skills brief, which has been missing a dedicated minister since Anne Milton resigned in July 2019, she said: “Let’s figure that out tomorrow.”

Gavin Williamson, who was reappointed as education secretary in today’s reshuffle, took on the FE and skills brief personally last July.

Donelan became an MP in May 2015 and has previously sat on the education select committee.

Since joining the DfE, Donelan has been the ministerial representative in numerous Westminster hall debates related to FE.

Just this week, she represented the DfE in two debates on apprenticeships.