Ninth construction minister since 2001 takes office

Ian Lucas has been given the responsibility for construction in Gordon Brown’s latest reshuffle. He becomes the ninth minister to hold the post since 2001.

He takes over from Ian Pearson who has moved to the Treasury to become economic minister.

Lucas will have the title of minister for business and regulatory reform. As well as construction he will look after various other business sectors - aerospace; marine and defence, automotive; chemicals; manufacturing, materials and engineering; retail; services.

Lucas will be busy as he will also be responsible for the Better Regulation Executive, Olympic legacy, sustainable development and regulation including waste electrical and electronic equipment issues, Corporate Social Responsibility, corporate governance, Companies Act, Companies House, Insolvency Service (including companies investigations) and export control.

Lord Mandelson heads up the ministerial team at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The new Department brings together two former Departments - the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform, and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.

Lord Mandelson said: “Being Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills is both a privilege and a challenge. Our purpose is to help the government bring the country out of recession and build up our economic strengths and competitiveness - I and my ministerial team are resolutely focussed on this task.

“The government needs to provide active and urgent help to business and employees. Bringing together the strengths and capabilities of the two former Departments will enable us to do that more effectively, ensuring British business can compete successfully in the future world economy.”