One of the housing ministers with responsibility for the introduction of the controversial Renters Reform Bill in the near future has resigned from government for personal reasons.
Kelly Tolhurst last week announced that the long-antipated Bill - which will scrap Section 21 eviction powers for landlords and introduce the concept of long term 'transportable' rental deposits which private tenants can take from property to property - will be introduced into the House fo Commons “very soon”.
But on Saturday evening Tolhurst posted social media messages announcing she was quitting the government.
She wrote to the Prime Minister saying: “Following on from some devastating news for my family, after much consideration and deep reflection, it is with the great sadness that I am writing to notify you of my intention to step down from my role as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government, so that I am able to care for, and spend some precious time with my family in the coming months.
“It has been an immense privilege to serve in your Government under three different departments — in my current role as Rough Sleeping & Housing Minister, and previously as the Small Business Minister in the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, and as Maritime, Aviation, and Security Minister in the Department for Transport.”
Assistant government whip Eddie Hughes has been appointed as her replacement.
Boris Johnson said he was "very sad" that Tolhurst was standing down, describing her as a "brilliant minister at three departments but family must come first”.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick tweeted that he was "deeply sorry" to lose Tolhurst from his team, adding that she had been a "superb minister".