Trailblazer Truss gets minister role

Elizabeth Truss and Craig Whittaker in 2005
Elizabeth Truss and Craig Whittaker in 2005

Craig Whittaker, the Calder Valley Conservative MP, missed out on a place in last week’s Cabinet re-shuffle.

The former Calderdale Council education spokesman was elected to the Commons in 2010 and at Westminster he sits on the Education Select Committee.

But his political predecessor Elizabeth Truss, who only just failed to become a Calderdale MP in 2005, has been promoted to the position of education minister with responsibility for nursery provision and child care.

She was the Conservative candidate for the Calder Valley in 2005, paving the way for Craig Whittaker’s election.

Ms Truss attracted 17,059 votes - just 1,364 fewer than Labour’s Chris McCafferty.

She went on to become the MP for South West Norfolk in 2010, has been branded a “Cameron Cutie” and is described by the Spectator as a ‘one woman think-tank’.

She has been a vocal campaigner for reforms to early years child care.

She has presented papers and written articles that have called for a reduction in red tape and bureaucracy allowing for more affordable and available child care.

The late Sir Donald Thompson, who was the Calder Valley Conservative MP from 1979, worked his way up through the whips’ office before joining the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food as a junior minister.

He was sacked from the position in 1989 in the wake of the scare over mad cow disease and was knighted in 1992.

He lost his seat in the 1997 Labour landslide.

lMr Whittaker is due to hold his monthly surgery in Halifax today from 10am until noon. To book a place telephone 01422 711260.