Jesse Norman MP – HMRC’s public face during parliamentary lockdown webinars on stamp duty – has been sacked as part of the PM’s latest reshuffle.
Norman, who was instrumental in the stamp duty holiday decision, had been Financial Secretary to the Treasury since 2019 and has been replaced by Lucy Frazer QC, MP for South-East Cambridgeshire.
In February, he was part of an online debate responding to an e-petition, which was signed by more than 150,000 people, asking for a six-month extension to the Stamp Duty holiday for homes for sale under £500,000, due to end in March.
At the time, he frustrated estate agents hoping for a straight answer from the HM Treasury over the ‘will they, won’t they’ extension, saying that although he understood the frustrations of those trying to complete before the deadline, he couldn’t comment on fiscal policy including whether the deadline would be tapered or extended.
Writing on social media after his ousting, Norman said he was honoured to step down as Financial Secretary to the Treasury and was keen to highlight his achievements.
“The FST works in the centre of the government engine room, and is responsible for HMRC, tax, customs, trade and tariff policy, Freeports and much else.”
He added: “As FST I managed the Covid furlough, self-employment and other schemes, put in place a 10-year UK tax administration strategy, pushed digitisation ahead, enhanced taxpayer safeguards, strengthened the HMRC board, and recruited a great first Chair in Jayne-Ann Gadhia.
“I put eight pieces of primary legislation onto the statute book, including two Finance Acts, the Covid Contingencies Fund legislation, and only this week the landmark Health and Social Care Levy. I pay tribute to the astonishing work of civil servants at HMT and HMRC on all this.”