Small businesses have a new government minister working for them. The newly formed Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced Margot James MP has been appointed new minister for small business, taking over from Anna Soubry, who left following Teresa May’s ascension to Number 10.
James has a business background: she has been an MP for Stourbridge since 2010, and before that co-founded clinical trial and PR consultancy organisation Shire Health Group in 1986 and went on to sell the business almost 20-years later to WPP in 2004. Since entering parliament, she sat on the business, innovation and skills select committee between 2010 and 2012.
‘Small business commissioner appointment is a must’
Following that, between 2012 and 2014, James served as parliamentary private secretary to Lord Green, the minister for trade and investment, setting up the parliamentary group for trade and investment.
Upon news of her appointment, James said, “I am delighted to be joining the ministerial team at @bisgovuk and will do all I can to support businesses and employees in my new role.” The appointment was welcomed by Mike Cherry, national chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses, who said the FSB was “delighted” at her appointment.
“We have worked closely with her in the past, both at a local and national level,” he said. “The first priority in her ministerial in-tray must be to establish the small business commissioner to tackle late payments, and to work with the Treasury on how to boost economic growth.”