Housing minister Kelly Tolhurst has resigned from the government for personal reasons.
Tolhurst had formal responsibility for the government’s policies to combat rough sleeping but in recent weeks had taken a wider role, particularly defending the private rental sector eviction bans.
A few days ago, at her last appearance at the House of Commons despatch box answering housing questions, she revealed that the government would be introducing the controversial Renters Reform Bill “very soon”.
The will scrap Section 21 eviction powers for landlords and introduce the concept of long term 'transportable' rental deposits which private tenants can use when they move from property to property.
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.”
Downing Street says assistant 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".