The government has a new housing minister following the exit of Kelly Tolhurst, who over the weekend tended her resignation to the Prime Minister.
Tolhurst (pictured) had been a housing minister for just four months but has revealed that, following devastating personal news, she wishes to ‘care for, and spend some precious time with my family in the coming months’, and is to return to the back benches.
She is to be replaced by Walsall North MP Eddie Hughes, who has been a parliamentary private secretary (PPS) at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government since 2018.
Hughes is expected to take on a wider role than Tolhurst, who largely stuck to her rough sleeping brief with only occasional forays into the private rental sector.
Hughes described himself as being ‘passionate about housing’ when he joined the Ministry as a PPS and has often been seen at House of Commons committee meetings at the side of ministers including Christopher Pincher, passing him briefing notes.
Hughes has previously said he’s always wanted to be a housing minister, and has been a long-term member of the Chartered Institute of Building.
The 52-year-old has also spent most of his professional career prior to being elected an MP in 2017 working in construction and housing, having started as a civil engineer.
While working as an unpaid PPS Hughes has been busy working on both planning issues, was instrumental in persuading ministers to introduce a ‘new homes ombudsman’, plans for which are under way, and introduced the government’s recent leasehold reform bill.