Nick Boles is new Skills Minister after move to joint role at BIS and DfE

Former Planning Minister Nick Boles has taken on a joint role at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Department for Education (DfE).

Although it has not been officially confirmed the 48-year-old Tory, a former flatmate of Michael Gove, will take on the skills portfolio, a Downing Street spokesperson told FE Week that he “understood” he would be taking Matthew Hancock’s old role.

A Winchester College student and Oxford graduate, Mr Boles owned and small business and served on Westminster City Council before entering Parliament in 2010 for the Grantham and Stamford constituency. He was a founder and director of the Policy Exchange thinktank.

He was previously an undersecretary of state at the Department for Communities and Local Government, where he was in charge of planning policy.

His Twitter handle is @NickBolesMP.

UPDATE (11.47am): Mr Boles’s Parliamentary office has confirmed to FE Week that he has taken on the skills brief.

UPDATE (12.33am): Mr Boles has given his first comments as Skills Minister to FE Week after reporter Freddie Whittaker caught up with him as he made his way to the BIS offices in London for his first briefing.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted with the appointment. It’s a really crucial role. If we are going to make sure everyone can benefit from the economic recovery we have to make sure they have got the skills they need.”

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