THE Government has announced the appointment of Tom Smith as chairman of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).

He will assume the role on March 1, succeeding Stephen Henwood who is stepping down after nine years.

Mr Smith has has worked in the public and private sectors, including a spell in the diplomatic service and 10 years at Go-Ahead Group.

He became a non-executive director of the NDA In 2013. His term as chairman runs until 2020.

And in a surprise development, Lord Prior of Brampton has been appointed parliamentary under-secretary at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, as part of a reshuffle that has seen Energy Minister Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe move to the Treasury.

Although Mr Prior's precise brief has yet to be confirmed, he is likely to pick up many of Baroness Neville-Rolfe's duties. She was appointed only in July.