We have never met, I have only seen you on stage at the PLSA. I am told you are a decent , intelligent and capable man, so I wonder if you really want to be our Pensions Minister, Can I ask you – is this the job for you, or was this the job Liz Truss wanted you to do?
I ask, because your predecessor – your friend and colleague Guy Opperman, had been doing your job for over 5 years, reasonably well in most people’s opinion. He has areas of expertise which have endeared him to parts of the pension industry. He knew his brief and was actively pursuing inclusion of those missing out on pension credits, outside the auto-enrolment system and disconnected from their pots.
In your short time in parliament , you have built a reputation for you work on skills and apprenticeships, you are admired for your work with children, you earned your great education with a scholarship and like me you are from the heart of Dorset.
I was pleased to see you put your name to those who stood behind Rishi Sunak yesterday, we know his and Jeremy Hunt’s agenda is different from his predecessor’s. You are saddled with being the Minister for Pensions and Growth and I wonder if you’d choose that title if you came to your current office today.
Nobody would be alarmed if you accepted a post in another department, perhaps the post you were performing till August. We would of course work with you going forwards, but we have had no explanation why we lost Guy Opperman and can only suppose that he was removed because he did not fit the agenda for growth.
That agenda having been discarded, wouldn’t it be helpful for your two careers but more especially for the current Government, if Guy was to return to his former position with his former title and his former duties? This of course assumes that is what Guy Opperman wants – and I have no insight to that. But I know that he is a politician who has owned his job and I suspect that you do not quite own the position you find yourself in.
Am I right?