Margot James appointed as minister for small business

Margot James, a former business owner who supports a reduction in business rates, has been appointed minister for small business, consumer protection and corporate social responsibility. She will be part of the newly formed Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy where she will be taking over from Anna Soubry.

James, who co-founded Shire Health, a PR and medical education business in 1986, 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.”

James sat on the business, innovation and skills select committee between 2010 and 2012 and served as parliamentary private secretary to Lord Green, the minister for trade and investment, between 2012 and 2014. She has spoken in support of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, saying last year: “The opportunity afforded by TTIP has huge potential, with the right safeguards in place, for growth on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Mike Cherry, national chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses, 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.”