The recently returned UK Labour government has initiated a cabinet reshuffle that appears to raise the profile of energy policy in the government’s agenda.
Former postman Alan Johnson was appointed as Secretary of State for the newly devised Department of Productivity, Energy and Industry that emerged from the former Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
However, Johnson is understood to have complained that the new title attracted unwelcome acronyms, including his own as the Productivity, Energy and Industry Secretary or ‘penis’ and reverted back to the old DTI name in short order.
Nonetheless, despite the embarrassing PR associated with the temporary name change, with energy albeit briefly promoted to inclusion in the department’s name the profile of the sector is expected to increase in stature. One of the biggest issues it faces in the immediate future will be a decision on the role of nuclear energy in the UK.
Johnson replaced Patricia Hewitt.