TORY MP Grant Shapps has been appointed as the Transport Secretary in Boris Johnson’s Cabinet.
Here’s the lowdown on the MP and his experiences.
Who is Grant Shapps?
Shapps is the Conservative MP for Welwyn Hatfield and was educated at Watford Grammar and Cassio College Watford.
He studied business and finance at Manchester Metropolitan University in the late 1980s and founded his own printing company when he was 21.
He has a wife called Belinda, who he married in 1997, and they have three children; a boy called Hadley and twins Tabytha and Noa.
Shapps publicly backed former PM David Cameron’s bid for the leadership of the Conservative Party and Shapps was appointed vice chairman of the Conservative Party when Cameron took the reins.
In 1999 Shapps was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The treatment was successful and the politician finished his final round of chemotherapy the year after.
After failing to win a seat in the 2001 election, Shapps was elected in 2005 and retained the seat in 2010.
He was opposed to Brexit.
He was appointed as the Transport Secretary on July 24.
How old is Grant Shapps?
Shapps was born on September 14, 1968 and is 50 years old.
He was born in Watford, Hertfordshire, to a Jewish family and has a brother called Andre, a musician.
Where was he on the day of the Westminster terror attack?
The Welwyn Hatfield MP was just yards away as a murderous terrorist was shot by police outside Parliament in March last year.
He heard the commotion in Parliament Square, which he dismissed as a common occurrence on any given day.
However, moments later he saw police race past him armed with machine guns, and remembers shots being fired.
He quickly obeyed an armed police officer’s instruction to “drop”, and sheltered behind a pillar.
He crawled on hands and knees back to a passage that allowed him to reach the chamber of the House of Commons.
With rumours spreading of another terrorist on the premises, Shapps was very alarmed when men wearing balaclavas burst through the doors – however, they were specialist counter-terrorist police.
Shapps and his colleagues were kept for their safety inside the House of Commons, and were restricted to the chamber and the lobbies for five hours.
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What has he previously said about Theresa May being ousted?
Shapps said May’s leadership should be challenged in the wake of her poorly-received conference speech and the disastrous snap election in June.
He told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I think she should call a leadership election.”
After May’s bungled election, her failure to unite the cabinet and a poor party conference, “the writing is on the wall,” he said.
Shapps, who chaired the party between 2012 and 2015, said up to 30 Conservative lawmakers backed the bid to tell May to go, including five former cabinet ministers. He said it was unclear if there would be enough support to topple May and that the plot had been hatched before the party conference.
To trigger a formal leadership challenge, 48 Conservative lawmakers need to write to the chairman of the party’s so-called 1922 Committee.
Shapps said those seeking to topple May had no single candidate they wished to replace her but that the group included both supporters and opponents of Brexit.