DEPUTY Prime Minister Oliver Dowden is set to stand in for Rishi Sunak at today’s PMQs.

Dowden was appointed to the role following Dominic Raab’s resignation and has already served in several senior roles within the Conservative Party.

So, who is Dowden and why is he standing in for Sunak?

Who is Oliver Dowden?

Dowden was elected as the MP for Hertsmere in Hertfordshire at the 2015 General Election, succeeding former Tory MP James Clappison.

Hertfordshire is where he was born and grew up, before going on to study law at Cambridge University.

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Before becoming an MP, he worked in Downing Street advising the then PM David Cameron and was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

What Cabinet roles has he held?

Since becoming an MP, Dowden has held several senior roles. He has been culture secretary, the minister without portfolio and was chairman of the Conservative Party until June 2022.

As well as serving as Deputy Prime Minister, Dowden is also the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

Why is he standing in for Rishi Sunak at PMQs?

The Prime Minister is currently undertaking a tour of international engagements this week in a bid to “drive economic growth and investment in the UK”.

On May 16, he attended the Council of Europe summit in Iceland and will travel to Tokyo for a bilateral visit ahead of the G7.

As such, he will not be attending PMQs today meaning that Oliver Dowden will be up against Labour’s Angela Rayner.

This should also mean that the SNP’s deputy leader in Westminster, Mhairi Black, speaks instead of Stephen Flynn.