From education to employment

Jo Johnson announced as Minister of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as well as Universities Minister

Minister of State Jo Johnson MP

Jo Johnson MP was appointed Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Department for Education on 24 July 2019.

Jo was Minister of State at the Department for Transport and Minister for London from 9 January 2018 to 9 November 2018. He was elected Conservative MP for Orpington in May 2010 and re-elected in May 2015.


Jo began his schooling in Brussels, at the European School in Uccle, before attending Ashdown House School in East Sussex, and then Eton College. In 1991, he went to Balliol College, Oxford to study Modern History.

A French speaker, Jo did his postgraduate studies in Europe and has degrees from 2 further European universities.

Political career

Jo was Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation from July 2016 to January 2018. He was head of the Downing Street Policy Unit and served as Minister of State at the Cabinet Office from July 2014 until May 2015. He served as an Assistant Government Whip from September 2012 until July 2014. He also served as Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office from April 2013 until July 2014.

Career outside politics

Jo joined the Financial Times in 1997, after working as an investment banker at Deutsche Bank. He had 2 foreign postings with them: firstly as Paris correspondent (2001 to 2005), and then as South Asia Bureau Chief based in New Delhi (2005 to 2008). In 2008 he became an Associate Editor of the Financial Times and Head of the Lex Column.

Previous roles in government

Vanessa Wilson, Chief Executive of University Alliance said:

“We welcome the minister back to the role during what is an important junction for UK higher education and the country. As we look to the needs of our economy and workforce post-Brexit, Alliance Universities are well-placed to deliver the high-level skills and creativity needed to drive the necessary innovation, workforce development and social change.”

“In order to continue and extend their impact on students, communities and the economy, UK universities need sustained funding and certainty. We wholeheartedly agree with Jo Johnson’s vocal opposition to cutting tuition fees and we hope the new government will do all it can to ensure UK universities can continue to deliver for students and society.”

There was speculation that Jo Johnson would become the minister for both FE and HE, but the brief for Skills Minister has now been given to Gavin Williamson, who is Secretary of State for Education.

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