The DWP confirmed today that after two days of hectic reshuffling of Cabinet and junior ministers by Prime Minister Theresa May, Mr Opperman would remain in charge of the pensions and financial inclusion briefs.
There had been speculation during yesterday that Kit Malthouse MP, a new Parliamentary Under Secretary appointment at the DWP, would take the pensions brief after government failed to clarify early on what Mr Malthouse’s responsibilities would be.
Today, however, the DWP confirmed that Mr Malthouse would look after Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance, replacing Caroline Dinenage MP who has moved to become Minister of State for Health and Social Care. This leaves Mr Opperman’s role unchanged.
Alok Sharma MP also joined the DWP team yesterday as Minister of State for Employment. He will also look after Universal Credit. He replaces Damien Hinds MPs who has become Secretary of State for Education, replacing Justine Greening MP.
Mr Opperman was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions in June last year after serving as a Government Whip. He was elected Conservative MP for Hexham in May 2010 and replaced Richard Harrington MP who moved to a new role at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.
At the time of Mr Opperman’s appointment the Pensions Minister’s role was widened to include financial inclusion strategy. Mr Opperman has been a frequent campaigner on local issues including hospital closures and some have described him as on the "left" of the Conservative Party.
He was educated at Harrow School and went on to read law at the University of Birmingham. He was called to the bar in 1989 and spent 20 years as a barrister and was also director of his family’s engineering business until 2009. Outside of work he is an amateur jockey and rode his first win in 1985.
There are reports that new measures to tackle pension scams may be pushed forward in the near future.