Andrea Jenkyns has been named as the new skills, further and higher education minister in the Department for Education.
Jenkyns, Conservative MP for Morley and Outwood in the north of England, joined Brendan Clarke-Smith as new junior ministers in the DfE last week, but the exact nature of their roles were not made clear.
She announced this evening that she will take on the skills portfolio previously held by Alex Burghart as well as the joint FE and HE brief previously held by Michelle Donelan.
Jenkyns tweeted: “Thrilled to be appointed as skills, further and higher education minister @EducationGovUK.
“We’ll be powering ahead with ambitious plans to boost skills and opportunities for everyone, regardless of where they are in life, delivering for individuals, employers and the economy.”
Jenkyns – a Boris Johnson loyalist – was first elected in May 2015, and had been an assistant whip in the Whips Office since September last year.
Prior to that she had served on a number of committees.
The new minister has already attracted some controversy after footage emerged that showed her raising a middle finger to protestors in Downing Street.
Jenkyns has since issued a statement in which she explained that there was a “baying mob” outside the gates who were shouting abuse to MPs. She said she had “reached the end of my tether” following “huge amounts of abuse” over the years, adding: “I should have shown more composure but am only human.”
The new appointment follows a whirlwind week in British politics in which Prime Minister Boris Johnson was forced to resign after an exodus of junior ministers and the resignation of two of his top cabinet members – Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid.
Last week, then-education secretary Nadhim Zahawi was promoted to replace Sunak as chancellor, with then-joint HE and FE minister Michelle Donelan stepping up to fill the education role.
In addition, skills minister Alex Burghart, parliamentary under secretary of state Will Quince and school standards minister Robin Walker all quit, before Quince returned on Friday in the higher role of minister of state.
Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith was appointed as a junior minister alongside Jenkyns. He has confirmed he will take the children and families brief, previously held by Quince before he resigned last week.