A ‘mini’ re-shuffle of the Council of Ministers has been announced today (June 14).

Infrastructure minister Tim Crookall will move to the Department of Enterprise, and be replaced by Chris Thomas.

The reshuffle comes after Dr Alex Allinson moved from DfE to Treasury last month to replace David Ashford MHK , following his resignation.

Chief Minister Alfred Cannan MHK said: ‘I am delighted that Tim Crookall and Chris Thomas have accepted these important positions and both bring with them considerable ministerial experience.

‘I am looking forward to welcoming Chris Thomas back to the Council of Ministers.

‘There is a significant task in front of him, but I am confident that we share a common vision for a more focused DoI and I look forward to working alongside him to deliver on that vision.

‘Tim Crookall has done a sterling job and will leave a strong platform at the DoI for Chris Thomas to build on.

‘He will now face a new challenge with the DfE, but he will join a strong team to move the agency model forward and I am grateful for his steadfast support of our Island Plan.

‘I have emphasised to all Ministers that the next 12 months are critical if we are to leave a future legacy of positive change and I am confident that both appointments are well equipped to be play a key role in this respect. I wish them well.’

Writing in a column for the Examiner last week, Mr Thomas sought to answer what he said was the commonly asked question of why he was not a minister, and talked about how effectively he could get things done outside CoMin as a backbench MHK.

Mr Thomas, who was first elected in 2013 and served as the Island’s Policy and Reform Minister, between 2016 and 2020, will continue to chair the Housing and Communities Board, but stand down as Chair of the Isle of Man Post Office.

He said: ‘The approach at the centre of Government’s Island Plan is people first, with services for the community at the heart of our public service.

‘It is in this spirit that I will be approaching my appointment.

‘I will work to ensure that we focus first and foremost on the people who use and pay for our infrastructure.

‘I see my role as championing communities, housing and infrastructure.

‘I look forward to working alongside others to build on the Housing and Communities Board housing action plan and to address the other infrastructure challenges that we have.’

Tim Crookall will be taking on his fourth ministerial role having been in charge of the Community, Culture and Leisure, Education and Children and Infrastructure departments.

He said: ‘I am delighted to have been asked to fulfil this key role as Minister for Enterprise. I am looking forward to working with my political colleagues to deliver a more focused agency model and to grow our economy.’

Both will take on their new positions with immediate effect.