New Construction Minister, Lord Prior – Let us Introduce You

New Construction Minister, Lord Prior – Let us Introduce You

19th January 2017

We’re living in uncertain times here in the UK, a time of change as we wonder what the future brings with our government making preparations to leave the European Union following last summer’s Brexit vote in the European Referendum.  With no clear statements from the government on the form that Brexit will take and how life is likely to change for us here in the UK, many of us across all sectors are becoming pretty desperate for some news on what the future will be like for us.  Well now we’ve had a new construction minister appointed in the person of Lord Prior and his brief will include infrastructure.  Today we’re going to take a closer look at the man who will be responsible for construction issues here in the UK in the coming months.

Lord David Prior of Brampton (to give him his full title) was serving as a junior health minister and was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy just before Christmas.  Last week an announcement was made that Lord Prior will enjoy a wide-ranging brief that will include infrastructure and construction policy, alongside industrial strategy and the EU single market.  Early on in his career, Lord Prior worked as an investment banker and was later seconded to British Steel Corporation to work with Sir Ian MacGregor as Managing Director of British Steel’s service centres.  He became an MP in 1997, elected for North Norfolk.  Lord Prior also spent some time as Chief Executive of the Conservative party, followed by the post of deputy chairman and a member of the trade and industry select committee.

Lord Prior is a qualified barrister who previously worked as an associate at Lehman Brothers and then as a senior executive with British Steel.   He was educated at Charterhouse School and Pembroke College in Cambridge where he gained an MA in Law.  During his time at Cambridge, Lord Prior helped to launch the Cambridge University Industrial Society which has since spread to many other universities in the UK.  He was also an elected officer of Cambridge University Students’ Union.

Lord Prior’s appointment has come at a crucial stage in the history of the construction industry – we’[re in the middle of a government review of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and the outcome of this will decide the future of the industry’s training board. 

The appointment was welcomed by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) which responded positively to the announcement.   Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB believes that Lord Prior’s combination of political and professional experience will enable him to foster a strong collaborative relationship between industry and government.  He also said that the CITB is looking forward to working with the new construction minister to ensure that he has a comprehensive understanding of the perspective of small and micro construction companies which form the majority of the industry here in the UK.