Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP

Biography

Alok Sharma was appointed Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on 13 February 2020. He was also appointed Minister for COP 26, the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, on the same date.

He was previously Secretary of State for International Development from 24 July 2019 to 13 February 2020, and Minister of State for Employment at the Department of Work and Pensions from 9 January 2018 until 24 July 2019.

He was Minister of State for Housing and Planning, for the Department for Communities and Local Government from 13 June 2017 to 9 January 2018.

Parliamentary career

Alok was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 17 July 2016 to 13 June 2017.

He has served as a member of the Commons Treasury select committee, a member of the Commons Science and Technology select committee, a Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Treasury and from 2012 to 2015 as a Conservative Party Vice Chairman. Alok was appointed in 2016 as the Prime Minister’s Infrastructure Envoy to India.

He also served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP, the former Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster who had overall responsibility for the Cabinet Office. He was elected as the Conservative MP for Reading West in May 2010.

Career outside politics

Prior to entering Parliament, Alok qualified as a chartered accountant with Coopers & Lybrand Deloitte, and then worked for 16 years within banking, first with the Japanese firm Nikko Securities and then Enskilda Securities (the investment banking arm of SE Banken), where he held senior roles based out of London, Stockholm and Frankfurt, including serving as a member of the bank’s Corporate Finance Global Management Committee.

Family

Alok is married and lives in Reading Borough with his wife and 2 daughters.

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

The Secretary of State has overall responsibility for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy which brings together responsibilities for business, industrial strategy, science, innovation and energy. This includes:

  • developing and delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy and leading the government’s relationship with business
  • ensuring that the country has secure energy supplies that are reliable, affordable and clean
  • ensuring the UK remains at the leading edge of science, research and innovation
  • tackling climate change

More about this role

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Previous roles in government

  1. Secretary of State for International Development
  2. Minister of State for Employment
  3. Minister of State for Housing and Planning
  4. Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Asia and the Pacific)

Announcements

  1. New dates agreed for COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference
  2. Prime Minister sets out timeline for retail to reopen in June
  3. Government launches new £40 million Clean Growth Fund to supercharge green start-ups
  4. £40m boost for cutting-edge start-ups
  5. Business Secretary's statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 17 May 2020
  6. Funding and manufacturing boost for UK vaccine programme
  7. Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre to open 12 months ahead of schedule
  8. Kate Bingham appointed chair of UK Vaccine Taskforce
  9. Clare Chapman appointed Chair of Acas
  10. Dame Ottoline Leyser appointed new CEO of UK Research And Innovation (UKRI)