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International 18 Feb, 2020 Follow News

Baroness Liz Sugg

A new Minister has been assigned to the Overseas Territories in the British government.

Baroness Liz Sugg has replaced Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon.

The new OTs Minister has also been assigned oversight of Sustainable Development.

Baroness Sugg was previously Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for International Development(DfID) from April last year.

In a Tweet, her predecessor Lord Tariq Ahmad said he would be continuing as Minister of State for the Commonwealth and Asia in the Foreign Office and as Minister of State for the Department for International Development(DfID).

The new Secretary of State for International Development, which includes DfID, is Anne-Marie Trevelyan, with Dominic Raab remaining as Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

The new appointments are part of last week’s cabinet reshuffle carried out by Prime Minister Johnson.

They reflect a shift in how the various portfolios function at the centre of government with a combination of centralisation and overlap.

This approach led to the dramatic resignation of then-Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid over demands that he sack all of his advisors, a move seen as giving up some of his ministerial autonomy.

In the case of DfID, the more defined overlap is seen as a respite as it was widely speculated that the department was on the cards to be subsumed into the FCO.

While that has not materialised, the new structure forces a more direct working relationship between DfID and the FCO.

This would be particularly evident with those OTs reliant on UK aid for annual budgetary support and those which would have a call on the aid budget for disaster relief.

It is generally felt that these two arms of the UK government were ably navigated by Lord Ahmad, the previous Minister of State for the OTs.

His successor, Baroness Sugg, is no stranger to DfID having served as its Parliamentary Under-Secretary since last April. She is known as a champion of the UK aid’s commitment to women and girls’ rights.

The new Minister for the OTs will operate out of the FCO where she will have direct contact with Lord Ahmad in his new role focusing on the Commonwealth (of which the OTs are members by default), and Asia.

Baroness Sugg was Government Whip (Baroness in Waiting) and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport from October 2017 to April 2019.

She was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) on the recommendation of former prime minister David Cameron in the 2015 Dissolution Honours and became a Conservative life peer in 2016.

She had also served as Mr Cameron’s Director of Operations and Campaigns.

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