Longevity in Ministerial roles is often underappreciated. An understanding of the policy dynamics of a particular policy area is often crucial and often only comes through hands on experience – whether that is understanding the stakeholders, history, policy trade offs, and points of policy leverage. Equally, given the long timelines for policy reform, sustained effort is needed to drive lasting positive change. However, a new Minister can bring a new perspective and cut through entrenched positions.
For an MP, it’s often challenging to take their experience, policy and political skills and apply it to a new areas where they may not have had prior experience. In the lead up to the reshuffle of the UK Cabinet in early 2020, the Institute for Government published some thoughts on the subject, drawn from the experiences of former Ministers.