Lord David Prior, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS), has been appointed by the British government as its new construction minister, replacing Jesse Norman, who will be taking on an energy brief.

Lord Prior was shuffled into the DBEIS in December 2016 on the same day that former Energy Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe took on the role as commercial secretary to the HM Treasury.

It is understood that Lord Prior’s brief within the department will cover construction, infrastructure, rail supply, maritime, and professional services. Aside from these areas, his current brief also includes energy policy, oil and gas, and nuclear.

Previously, Lord Prior was chairman of the Care Quality Commission, where he helped the regulator to overcome the challenges that followed the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust scandal. He also served as minister of the Department of Health and spent 15 years working at British Steel as a senior executive.

Now, his appointment is welcomed by many, including the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) chief executive Brian Berry. He said:

“We welcome the appointment of Lord Prior, whose combination of political and professional experience should leave him well placed to forge the strong, collaborative relationship that is needed between industry and government. It’s undoubtedly an exciting time for the construction sector as we respond to the opportunities and challenges which stem from the recommendations made by the recent Farmer and Bonfield reviews. We are also in the midst of the government’s review of the CITB, the outcome of which will decide the future of our industry training board.”