Ministerial role

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs


The minister’s responsibilties include:

  • Post Office and postal policy
  • employment relations including Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service)
  • consumer policy and consumer affairs
  • competition policy
  • corporate governance
  • company law
  • social enterprise
  • Insolvency Service, including company investigations
  • BIS better regulation and efficiency and reform agenda

Current role holder: Jo Swinson

In September 2012, Jo Swinson became Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Women and Equalities Minister. She was elected as the Liberal Democrat MP for East Dunbartonshire in 2005.


Jo was brought up in East Dunbartonshire, where she attended Douglas Academy in Milngavie. She studied Management at the London School of Economics.

Political career

Jo has previously been the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Equality, Scotland and the Arts.

Jo was a member of the Environmental Audit Select Committee from 2007 to 2010 and was also Chairperson of the Liberal Democrats Women’s Policy Working Group in 2009.

As a backbench MP, Jo co-founded the All Party Parliamentary Groups on Allergy, Wellbeing Economics, and Body Image. Jo is also a Governor of the Ditchley Foundation.

Jo was a member of the Speaker’s Conference from 2009 to 2010, which looked at ways to increase the number of women and black and minority ethnic MPs.

Career outside politics

After graduating in 2000, Jo worked in Yorkshire as Marketing and PR Manager for the Emap radio station Viking FM.

In 2002 Jo moved back to East Dunbartonshire and worked for Glasgow-based media business SpaceandPeople.

Personal life

Jo enjoys running and completed the Loch Ness Marathon in 2007 and the London Marathon in April 2011. She also likes reading, hiking, and ceilidh dancing.

Jo is married to fellow Liberal Democrat MP Duncan Hames and they have one son.

Previous holders of this role

  1. Jenny Willott

    • 2013 to 2014
  2. Jo Swinson

    • 2012 to 2013
  3. The Rt Hon Norman Lamb

    • 2012 to 2012
  4. The Rt Hon Edward Davey

    • 2010 to 2012


  1. Postal service reform

    • 7 October 2013
  2. Corporate accountability

    • 27 October 2014
  3. Company law reform

    • 5 February 2013


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  1. Biggest overhaul of consumer rights in a generation

    • 27 March 2015
    • Press release
  2. Government cash boost for software developers

    • 27 March 2015
    • Press release
  3. More restaurant bosses banned over immigration offences

    • 26 March 2015
    • Press release
  4. Womenomics could unlock huge potential for Scottish growth

    • 26 March 2015
    • News story
  5. Government announces new commissioners to the independent Low Pay Commission

    • 25 March 2015
    • Press release
  6. New National Minimum Wage offenders named and shamed

    • 24 March 2015
    • Press release
  7. Consumer champion Lynn Faulds Wood to lead product safety review

    • 13 March 2015
    • Press release
  8. Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate carries out targeted inspections in Sheffield

    • 4 March 2015
    • Press release
  9. More transparency for fees charged in insolvency

    • 3 March 2015
    • Press release
  10. Parents-to-be begin the countdown to Shared Parental Leave

    • 18 February 2015
    • Press release