Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
19 March 2016

Stephen Crabb replaces Iain Duncan Smith at the Department of Work and Pensions

The former Secretary of State for Wales has long been widely tipped for bigger things at Westminster. 

By Stephen Bush

Stephen Crabb has been appointed Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, leaving his post as Secretary of State for Wales. Crabb, who is from a single-parent family and was educated at state school in Wales, is regarded as a Cameroon moderniser, though he voted against equal marriage in 2013. He was the head of Project Umubano, the Conservative party’s development project in Sierra Leone and Rwanda, and is well-liked in the development sector.

Crabb has long been tipped for bigger things, with Ruth Davidson, the Tory leader in Scotland, suggesting him as a replacement for David Cameron earlier in the year, and the welfare brief represents a significant challenge. Within the DWP, morale is at rock-bottom and across Whitehall the department’s stock is low. Maintaining welfare reform – a totemic issue on much of the Tory right – while mothballing Iain Duncan Smith’s failed projects (including the universal credit, which, privately, civil servants have long believed will never be fully rolled out) will be a tricky balancing act.

Paradoxically, despite the blows to the prestige of the Chancellor, George Osborne, the move completes a good week for the Treasury. Throughout the last parliament, Osborne faced a strong opponent of Treasury interests at BIS in the shape of Vince Cable and another in the shape of Duncan Smith. Now, Sajid Javid, an Osborne creation, is Secretary of State for BIS, while Crabb, a moderniser, is at the DWP.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

Content from our partners
What you need to know about private markets
Work isn't working: how to boost the nation's health and happiness
The dementia crisis: a call for action