Introducing the New Construction Minister, Jesse Norman

Introducing the New Construction Minister, Jesse Norman

25th August 2016

We’re living in unprecedented times politically since the shock Brexit vote, the subsequent resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron, his replacement with Theresa May and the subsequent cabinet reshuffle.  We’ve ended up with a brand new Construction Minister, Jesse Norman and today, Safety Fabrications is taking a look at Jesse Norman who will be one of the key figures that the construction industry as a whole will need to watch over the coming months.

The appointments made by a new government are indicative of its priorities and it looks as if Theresa May is placing construction at the heart of the new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and use construction as a key part of the plans for a post-Brexit Britain.  

Jesse Norman was born in 1962 and was educated at Eton College before going up to Merton College in Oxford where he graduated with an Upper Second in Classics.  The then studied at the University College London, holding an honorary research fellowship in philosophy and gaining a PhD in 2003.  He’s written several books and is a Trustee of The Roundhouse, an arts venue and charity which was founded by his father, Sir Torquil Norman.  

Jesse Norman began his parliamentary career in 2010, winning the new seat of Hereford and South Herefordshire at the 2010 General election.  He’s a member of the Treasury Select Committee, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Employee Ownership.  In 2012, Norman was identified as one of the main instigators of the rebellion over the House of Lords Reform package presented to the House of Commons.  This incident led to a heated argument with David Cameron who accused his of misrepresenting Cameron to rally Lords Reform dissenters which resulted in Norman being escorted from the Palace of Westminster by four Whips.

Until recently, Norman’s independent thinking has hindered his advancement and he’s known for his inclination to rebel.  For those of us in the construction industry who are wondering how Jesse Norman is likely to get on within the strictures of his ministerial office, Norman himself has been quoted as saying “People’s views change and personal opinions do not always translate into public policy”.  

Norman’s intellectual prowess could lead to him playing a successful role for the construction sector in the UK in the coming months and years and the Prime Minister clearly has confidence in his ability to deliver.  IN recent months, other old Etonians have been purged from government which means that Norman will need to develop new relationships in future if he is to work successfully within the hierarchy of the government.  

As a thoroughly modern politician, Jesse Norman has not one, but two websites and is very active on Twitter.  He plays trumpet in the parliamentary jazz band and is learning tenor sax.  He’s a stalwart local campaigner in Herefordshire and played a key role in securing a new Enterprise Zone at Rotherwas along with £15 million investment in rural broadband.  If he campaigns as vociferously for the UK construction industry we may be facing a much less uncertain future than we expected in the wake of the Brexit vote.