Former minster for housing and planning added to PM’s backroom staff

Gavin Barwell, former minister for housing and planning, has been appointed as the new chief of staff to Theresa May.

Barwell lost his parliamentary seat of Croydon Central to Labour at the general election on 8 June, where he was defending a slim majority of 165 votes. The former housing minister replaces Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill as chief of staff to the prime minister.

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) enjoyed a healthy working relationship with Mr Barwell during his tenure as housing and planning minister and congratulated him on his new role.

Drawing on his ministerial experience, Barwell knows the challenges facing the industry and will ensure the Government listens to the needs of construction businesses.

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “With Gavin Barwell advising the prime minister, the construction industry has a listening ear at the heart of Government. We need to focus on removing the obstacles to small and medium-sized construction firms. This means removing burdensome and unnecessary regulation, ensure greater access to finance for SMEs, and getting real about planning reform.”