Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick out as PM reshuffles Cabinet

By Erin Santillo

Robert Jenrick has been sacked from his role as housing secretary as Boris Johnson reshuffles his Cabinet.

Mr Jenrick was the third minister to depart on Wednesday afternoon, shortly after Gavin Williamson and Robert Buckland exited as education and justice secretaries, respectively.

The prime minister was carrying out a long-awaited shake-up of his top team with plans to put in place a "strong and united" Cabinet following the turbulence of the coronavirus pandemic.

Announcing his departure on Twitter, Mr Jenrick said: "It’s been a huge privilege to serve as Secretary of State at MHCLG [Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government].

"Thank you to everyone at the department for their hard work, dedication and friendship. I’m deeply proud of all we achieved.

"I will continue to support the Prime Minister and the Government in every way I can."

His sacking from Mr Johnson's top team followed controversies including the unlawful approval of a Tory donor's housing development and his eyebrow-raising journeys during lockdown.

Mr Jenrick had been in the post since July 2019.

Confirmation that a reshuffle was being carried out came during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons.

"The PM will today conduct a reshuffle to put in place a strong and united team to build back better from the pandemic," a No 10 source said.

"The PM will be appointing ministers this afternoon with a focus on uniting and levelling up the whole country."

Cabinet-level changes were expected to take place on Wednesday, but the shake-up of more junior ministerial ranks will continue on Thursday.

Robert Jenrick said it had been a "huge privilege" to serve as housing secretary (PA)

The prime minister's official spokesperson said Mr Johnson understands "the importance of having a diverse Cabinet" but would not guarantee that female representation around the table will be maintained at least at its current level following the reshuffle.

Former Downing Street aide Dominic Cummings has branded the shake-up the "Carrie reshuffle", suggesting that Mrs Johnson's allies will be rewarded.

But asked if the prime minister's wife had been consulted on the reshuffle, the No 10 spokesman said: "No."

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