|Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities|
6 September 2022
|Prime Minister||Liz Truss|
|Preceded by||Greg Clark|
|Chief Secretary to the Treasury|
15 September 2021 –6 September 2022
|Prime Minister||Boris Johnson|
|Preceded by||Steve Barclay|
|Succeeded by||Chris Philp|
|Minister of State for Regional Growth and Local Government|
13 February 2020 –8 September 2020
|Prime Minister||Boris Johnson|
|Preceded by||Jake Berry|
|Succeeded by||Luke Hall|
|Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury|
27 July 2019 –13 February 2020
|Prime Minister||Boris Johnson|
|Preceded by||Robert Jenrick|
|Succeeded by||Kemi Badenoch|
| Member of Parliament |
for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland
8 June 2017
|Preceded by||Tom Blenkinsop|
|Born||28 September 1984|
|Education||Red House School|
|Alma mater||University College,Oxford|
Simon Richard Clarke(born 28 September 1984) is a British politician serving as Secretary of State for Levelling Up,Housing and Communities since 2022. He served as Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 2021 to 2022. A member of the Conservative Party,he has been Member of Parliament (MP) for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland since the 2017 general election.
Following Boris Johnson's appointment as Prime Minister,Clarke was appointed Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury. In the February 2020 cabinet reshuffle he was moved to the post of Minister of State for Regional Growth and Local Government,before resigning for personal reasons in September 2020. In the 2021 cabinet reshuffle he was returned to government as Chief Secretary to the Treasury,becoming the youngest cabinet minister in the ministry. After Johnson resigned in 2022,Clarke supported Liz Truss’s bid to become Conservative leader. Following Truss's appointment as Prime Minister,she appointed Clarke as Levelling Up Secretary.
Clarke was born in North Tees Hospital and grew up in the village of Marton. His parents Richard and Jill Clarke were a solicitor and stay-at-home mother.He was privately educated at Red House School in Norton, before going on to study History at University College,Oxford. At university,he was chairman of the Oxford University Conservative Association in Trinity Term,2006.
After leaving university he moved to London and trained as a solicitor with Slaughter and May before going to work in 2010 for the Surrey-based Conservative MP Dominic Raab,and then the Yorkshire-based Conservative MP Graham Stuart.
Clarke unsuccessfully stood as the Conservative candidate in the Middlesbrough constituency in the 2015 general election,coming third and suffering a swing against his party of 2.3%. Whilst being employed as a Policy Advisor to the Conservative MP Graham Stuart,he was selected as the candidate for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland in April 2017.He was elected at the 2017 general election, winning the seat from Labour after the sitting MP Tom Blenkinsop stood down.
Clarke has served on the Treasury Committee,the Treasury Sub-Committee and the Regulatory Reform Committee.He clashed with both the then-Labour MP for Redcar and the Labour-run Middlesbrough Council over plans for transport improvements in the local area, while he argued against his own party's opposition to onshore windfarms.
On 12 June 2019 the UK Government amended the Climate Change Act of 2008 by introducing a target for a 100% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (compared to 1990 levels) in the UK by 2050.At the forefront of this change in policy was Clarke,who,in September 2018,organised a letter signed by more than 130 cross-party MPs which indicated their support for net zero emissions and stressed opportunities for UK businesses,including in the North-East.
Clarke has been an advocate of regeneration both locally and nationally. In his role as Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government,Clarke said that towns and coastal communities had not shared the benefits of the economic growth experienced in other parts of the UK.Clarke said he supported regenerative measures undertaken by private initiatives in his constituency such as the reopening and expanding of Teesside International Airport,alongside the Tees Valley Mayor's plans to redevelop the SSI steelworks site.
On 27 July 2019 he was appointed Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury in Boris Johnson's administration.On 13 February 2020 he had his portfolio changed to a Minister of State at the Ministry of Housing,Communities and Local Government,a role he remained in until 8 September 2020,when he resigned for personal reasons.
In a cabinet reshuffle on 15 September 2021,Clarke succeeded Steve Barclay in the cabinet-attending post of Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
Clarke is a strong supporter of Brexit,having voted for the UK to leave the European Union,and is a supporter of the Eurosceptic campaign Leave Means Leave.He called the new Brexit deal secured by Boris Johnson "marvellous news",stating that the "anti-democratic backstop" had been abolished. He was critical of the negotiating approach taken by Theresa May and had submitted a call for a vote of no confidence in her leadership.
On 6 June 2022,after a vote of no confidence in the leadership of Boris Johnson was called,Clarke announced that he would be supporting the Prime Minister,praising his leadership on Brexit,the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine,adding:"He has won every major election he has fought because he is a politician with the capacity both to inspire and to deliver."
Clarke lives in the market town of Guisborough and London.
His height,6 feet 7 inches (2.01 m),makes him Britain's second-tallest MP and earned him the nickname 'Stilts' at school.
Prior to the 2021 autumn budget,Clarke said he would not take part in the traditional publicity photo with the Chancellor of the Exchequer as he suffers from agoraphobia.
Kenneth Harry Clarke, Baron Clarke of Nottingham,, often known as Ken Clarke, is a British politician who served as Home Secretary from 1992 to 1993 and Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1993 to 1997 as well as serving as deputy chair of British American Tobacco from 1998 to 2007. A member of the Conservative Party, he was Member of Parliament (MP) for Rushcliffe from 1970 to 2019 and was Father of the House of Commons between 2017 and 2019. The President of the Tory Reform Group since 1997, he is a one-nation conservative who identifies with economically and socially liberal views.
Gregory William Hands is a British Conservative Party politician serving as Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth from 2021 to 2022. and as Member of Parliament (MP) for Chelsea and Fulham, previously Hammersmith and Fulham, since 2005. Hands was a minister of state for trade policy, from 2016 to 2018 and again from February 2020 to September 2021.
Justine Greening is a British politician who served as Secretary of State for Education from 2016 to 2018. Prior to that, she served as Economic Secretary to the Treasury from 2010 to 2011, Secretary of State for Transport from 2011 to 2012 and Secretary of State for International Development from 2012 to 2016. A member of the Conservative Party, she was Member of Parliament (MP) for Putney from 2005 to 2019.
David Michael Gauke is a British political commentator, solicitor and former politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for South West Hertfordshire from 2005 to 2019. He served in the Cabinet under Theresa May, most notably as Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor from 2018 to 2019. First elected as a Conservative, Gauke had the Conservative whip removed on 3 September 2019 and until the dissolution sat as an independent politician.
Damian Patrick George Hinds is a British politician who served as Secretary of State for Education from 2018 to 2019 and Minister of State for Security and Borders from 2021 to 2022. A member of the Conservative Party, he has been Member of Parliament (MP) for East Hampshire since 2010.
The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury is a junior ministerial post in His Majesty's Treasury, ranked below the First Lord of the Treasury, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, the Paymaster General and the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and alongside the Economic Secretary to the Treasury. It ranks at Parliamentary Secretary level and is not a Cabinet office. Unlike the other posts of Secretary to the Treasury, it is only used occasionally, normally when the post of Paymaster General is allocated to a minister outside the Treasury.
Chloe Rebecca Smith is a British politician serving as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions since 2022. She previously served as Minister of State for Disabled People, Work and Health from 2021 to 2022. A member of the Conservative Party, she has been Member of Parliament (MP) for Norwich North since 2009.
Christopher James Skidmore, is a British politician, and author of popular history. He served as Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation from December 2018 to July 2019, and from September 2019 to February 2020.
Julian Richard Smith is a British politician who served as Government Chief Whip from 2017 to 2019 and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 2019 to 2020. A member of the Conservative Party, he has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Skipton and Ripon since 2010.
Stephen Paul Barclay is a British politician who served as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union from 2018 to 2020, Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 2020 to 2021, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster from 2021 to 2022, Downing Street Chief of Staff from February to July 2022, and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care from July to September 2022. A member of the Conservative Party, he has been Member of Parliament (MP) for North East Cambridgeshire since 2010.
David Henry Rutley is a British Conservative politician who has served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Macclesfield since 2010.
Helen Olivia Bicknell Whately is a British politician who served as Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury from 2021 to 2022 and Minister of State for Social Care from 2020 to 2021. A member of the Conservative Party, she has been Member of Parliament (MP) for Faversham and Mid Kent since 2015.
Wendy Morton is a British politician serving as Chief Whip of the House of Commons and Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury since 2022. A member of the Conservative Party, she has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Aldridge-Brownhills in the West Midlands since 2015.
Luke Anthony Hall is a British politician and former retail manager who has served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Thornbury and Yate since 2015. A member of the Conservative Party, he served as Minister of State for Regional Growth and Local Government from 2020 to 2021.
The second May ministry was formed on 11 June 2017 after Theresa May returned to office following the June 2017 snap general election. The election resulted in a hung parliament with the Conservative Party losing its governing majority in the House of Commons. On 9 June 2017, May announced her intention to form a Conservative minority government, reliant on the confidence and supply of the Democratic Unionist Party; a finalised agreement between the two parties was signed and published on 26 June 2017.
The first Johnson ministry began on 24 July 2019 when Queen Elizabeth II invited Boris Johnson to form a new administration, following the resignation of the predecessor Prime Minister Theresa May. May had resigned as Leader of the Conservative Party on 7 June 2019; Johnson was elected as her successor on 23 July 2019. The Johnson ministry was formed from the 57th Parliament of the United Kingdom, as a Conservative minority government. It lost its working majority on 3 September 2019 when Tory MP Dr Phillip Lee crossed the floor to the Liberal Democrats. An election was called for 12 December 2019, which led to the formation of a Conservative majority government, the second Johnson ministry.
Jacob Young is a British Conservative Party politician who was elected as the member of Parliament (MP) for Redcar at the 2019 general election. He is the first Conservative MP to represent the constituency.
The second Johnson ministry began on 16 December 2019, three days after Boris Johnson's audience with Queen Elizabeth II where she invited him to form a new administration following the 2019 general election, in which the Conservative Party was returned to power with a majority of 80 seats in the House of Commons. Initially the ministers were largely identical to those at the end of the first Johnson ministry, but changed significantly in cabinet reshuffles in February 2020 and September 2021.
Boris Johnson carried out the first significant reshuffle of his majority government on 13 February 2020. Following the December 2019 general election, there was considerable speculation that Johnson was planning a major reshuffle of the Cabinet, to take place after the United Kingdom's official withdrawal from the European Union on 31 January 2020. There were reports that up to a third of the Cabinet would be dismissed, Whitehall departments abolished and civil servants replaced by policy experts; however, the reshuffle was smaller than expected and no departments were abolished. The anticipated reshuffle was nicknamed "The St Valentine's Day Massacre" in the press, due to its proximity to St Valentine's Day, the name being a reference to the 1929 gangland shooting in Chicago.