Fears have been raised that the Department of Energy and Climate Change will not survive the Cabinet reshuffle.

As new Prime Minister Theresa May continues to announce the revamped frontbench, MPs raised concerns the department may not survive as a standalone portfolio in the new Government.

Raising the issue in energy and climate change questions in the Commons, Labour MP David Hanson (Delyn) said: "Could the minister confirm today whether or not the department is to be abolished?

"And if so, who is going to take forward the work in progress of smart meters at Cabinet level?"

Energy minister Andrea Leadsom insisted the Government's commitment to the energy trilemma - a term that denotes energy security, equity and sustainability - will remain strong whatever the case.

She said: "Well, he'll have to wait and see but what I can tell him is the commitment to our energy trilemma, to smart meters, to all of our policies, will remain as strong as ever."

Labour MP Jonathan Reynolds (Stalybridge and Hyde) warned that abolition of the department would suggest the new Government does not take the issues of energy and climate change as seriously.

He said: "Does the minister agree that the scrapping of the Department of Energy and Climate Change can only be taken as a signal that the new Government attaches less significance to these important issues?"

But the suggestion was rebuffed by Mrs Leadsom, who said: "I absolutely don't agree."

She added: "The assumption that you have to have a department for something in order to be able to meet its objectives is just not one I would agree with at all."