Rishi Sunak merges UK trade and business department into Whitehall shakeup –

LONDON – Britain’s international trade department has been left intact in a major government reshuffle, with a reformed business department now responsible for UK trade.

Rishi Sunak announced the creation of the new Department for Business and Trade this morning, with the Prime Minister appointing Tory rising star Kemi Badenoch as his Secretary of State.

A junior trade minister told Politico that it “makes sense” for the trade portfolio to be more closely aligned with government policy on business and industrial strategy.

Sunak and Badenoch said last year that they wanted to place less emphasis on signing trade deals quickly and more on boosting exports and inward foreign direct investment.

Longtime trade minister Greg Hands has also been appointed as Sunak’s new Conservative Party chairman, after Nadeem Zahavi was sacked last week for breaching the ministerial code over his personal tax affairs.

Grant Shapps will be in charge of a new energy and net-zero division, spun out of the former division for business, energy and industrial strategy.

The changes are part of a wider Whitehall reshuffle, which has created a new science and technology department.

The digital, culture, media and sports departments were also downsized to accommodate the changes.