Assistant whip Eddie Hughes appointed as Kelly Tolhurst’s replacement

A key minister in the housing department has announced her resignation following some “devastating” family news.

Kelly Tolhurst  wrote to the prime minister on Saturday saying that she was stepping down from her post to “spend some precious time with my family in the coming months”.

Kelly Tolhurst

Kelly Tolhurst announced her resignation on Saturday

Her responsibilities included the New Homes Ombudsman and redress, the social housing white paper, support for housing minister Christopher Pincher on the private rented sector and high streets, towns and cities.

The Rochester and Strood MP’s former roles include minister for small business in the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy from 2018 to 2020 and minister for aviation and maritime from February to September 2020.

She wrote: “Following on from some devastating news for my family, after much consideration and deep reflection, it is with 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 (MHCLG), so that I am able to care for, and spend some precious time with my family in the coming months.”

Boris Johnson thanked Tolhurst (pictured) for her contribution to government and later tweeted: ”Kelly, very sad that you’re standing down from government. 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.”

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick tweeted: “Deeply sorry that Kelly Tolhurst will be stepping down from the government.

“She has been a superb minister. All at @mhclg wish her and her family the very best.”

Assistant whip Eddie Hughes has been appointed as Tolhurst’s replacement.

Tolhurst said in her letter that she hoped to return to government “in the fullness of time”.