The Daily Telegraph

Rising star Barclay moved to co-ordinate Covid response

- By Christophe­r Hope Chief Political Correspond­ent

A TREASURY minister who was mastermind­ing next month’s three-year spending review has been given a key role co-ordinating the Government’s Covid response in the Cabinet Office.

Stephen Barclay, who was previously chief secretary to the Treasury, was promoted to Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Cabinet Office minister.

The position was left vacant after Michael Gove was moved to the Ministry of Housing, Communitie­s and Local Government.

He is expected to support Mr Johnson by chairing Cabinet Office Covid committee meetings that will assess whether tougher measures are needed to limit the spread of Covid this winter.

Mr Barclay, a former health minister who campaigned to leave the EU in 2016, has burnished his reputation at the Treasury where he had been leading efforts to eliminate unnecessar­y Civil Service posts, along with the six-figure pay-offs awarded to top officials.

Mr Barclay may also prove to be an ally for the PM in any rows that arise with Chancellor Rishi Sunak over plans for tax rises.

MP for East Cambridges­hire since 2010, Mr Barclay was brought up in Lancashire where his father was a fulltime union official and his mother was a civil service administra­tor.

He studied law at Cambridge University and qualified as a solicitor in 1998.

Theresa May made him a whip when she became PM in 2017, then a health minister in Jan 2018 and finally Brexit secretary in Nov 2018.

Mr Barclay, 49, is married to Karen. The couple have a son and a daughter.

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