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Housing minister loses seat to put policy in doubt

11 Juin 2017

London [U.K.], June 11 (ANI): Prime Minister Theresa May appointed former Housing Minister Gavin Barwell as the new Downing Street chief of staff.

His appointment comes after the resignation of the prime minister's closest aides Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, who was serving as joint chiefs of staff.

Mr Barwell, who wrote a book on how to win a marginal seat, received 24,221 seats to Labour candidate Sarah Jones' 29,873 - giving her a majority of 5,652.

She accredited the victory to young people and the role played by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Mr Barwell added: 'I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to serve as her chief of staff'. "I look forward to working with him".

Some senior Tories have made the removal of Hill and Timothy a condition for continuing to support May, who has vowed to remain prime minister despite the Conservatives' losing their overall majority in Parliament.

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May's office has already said that the senior Cabinet members - Treasury chief Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Amber Rudd - will keep their current jobs, but she is expected to reshuffle the lower ranks of ministers.

Speaking after he lost the seat he has held since 2010, he said the one consolation was that the result meant he would get to spend more time with his family.

They stood down after it was reported that Mrs May was under pressure to ditch them or face a leadership challenge.

The results left the Tories 12 short of the required majority and this will embolden anti- Brexit parties.

Ms May is spending her weekend attempting to rebuild her top team and form a government.

Housing minister loses seat to put policy in doubt