Sat, 6 March 2021

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By Megan Macdougall
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Conservative MP Kelly Tolhurst Has Resigned As Housing Minister Following “Devastating” Family News

Conservative MP Kelly Tolhurst Has Resigned As Housing Minister Following “Devastating” Family News

Kelly Tolhurst said it had been an "immense privilege" to serve in Boris Johnson's government (PA)

2 min read

Kelly Tolhurst announced on Saturday that she was stepping down from her government role to spend “precious time” with her family.

The Rochester and Strood MP was appointed to the role of Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rough Sleeping and Housing in September 2020.

She had previously held government roles in the Department for Transport and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, as well as serving as assistant government whip.

Writing to the Prime Minister yesterday, Ms Tolhurst said: "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.”

Responding to the announcement on Twitter, Boris Johnson said he was “very sad” that Ms Tolhurst was standing down.

“You’ve been a brilliant minister at three departments but family must come first. My thoughts are with you and your loved ones at this difficult time,” he wrote.

Several other MPs have also issued kind words, including Conservative party chairman Amanda Milling, newly-appointed business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, and housing secretary Robert Jenrick.

“Deeply sorry that Kelly Tolhurst will be stepping down from the government. She has been a superb Minister. All at [the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government] wish her and her family the very best,” Mr Jenrick wrote. 

Downing Street has confirmed that Eddie Hughes, who has served as assistant government whip since February 2020, has been appointed as her replacement.

Ms Tolhurst has been a member of parliament for Rochester and Strood since the 2015 general election, when she gained a majority of over 7,000.

She had previously contested the seat in a 2014 by-election six months earlier but lost to the incumbent Mark Reckless, who triggered the by-election when he defected from the Conservative party to UKIP.

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