Ben Gummer promises government job won’t deflect his Ipswich focus

Ben Gummer has pledged to continue to work hard for Ipswich.

Ben Gummer has pledged to continue to work hard for Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

As new Paymaster General, Ipswich MP Ben Gummer has enjoyed a meteoric rise up the ministerial ranks over the last few days.

His role is also minister at the cabinet office – responsible for much of the machinery of government.

He has to co-ordinate government policy across different departments and help to draw up policies that extend beyond individual branches of government.

And as Paymaster General he is responsible for much of the machinery of government: “It was once described as the ‘ministry of paper clips’ but it’s a bit wider than that!” he said.

“It includes government procurement, IT systems, and the civil service payroll. It really does cover almost every area of government operation.”

But he insisted that his new role would not get in the way of his work in the Ipswich constituency or his family life – his son Wilfred is approaching his second birthday.

He said: “This is a very important new job and a considerable promotion. But in effect it should not affect the way I work too much at all.

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“As it is I’m in London from Monday until Thursday afternoon when I return to Ipswich for constituency matters and family life.

“That won’t change. It’s just that when I’m in London I will be in the Cabinet Office rather than the Health Department.

“And while my previous job was a lower rung on the ladder, it had a wide remit – I was responsible for hospitals and the workforce there so it was quite time-consuming anyway.

“The important thing is to be disciplined about how you organise your time.”

Mr Gummer said his work in Ipswich would not be altered by his new government role: “These are exciting times for Ipswich with the Vision projects coming together and the improvements taking place around the Waterfront.

“I am fortunate to have an enthusiastic team in my office and they are also doing a great job for Ipswich.”

And his family is also very important to keeping Mr Gummer’s feet on the ground. Within a few minutes of arriving home from Downing Street with his new job, he was getting down to the really serious business – getting supper for Wilfred!

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