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30.04.18

Javid replaced after leaving local government post to join Home Office

Former communities, local government and housing secretary Sajid Javid has been appointed as home secretary, replacing Amber Rudd – who resigned yesterday due to the ongoing Windrush scandal.

Javid’s appointment was announced by Theresa May’s office this morning, where the new Home Office secretary’s first order of business will be to deal with the ongoing crisis of British citizens being controversially deported.

The MP for Bromsgrove, who joined the MHCLG in 2016, will become the first BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) politician to hold the home secretary post and had been tipped by cabinet members to take the post just hours after Rudd resigned last night.

A statement from Downing Street said: “The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP as secretary of state for the home department.”

The new home secretary, whose parents emigrated from Pakistan in the 1960s, has been particularly outspoken about the treatment of Windrush migrants. The Windrush generation of migrants settled legally in Britain after the Second World War but their right to live in the UK has been questioned, with some authorities detaining citizens in immigration centres and denying them medical care.

Javid told the Sunday Telegraph that the scandal felt very personal to his origins and added: “I thought it could be my mum, my dad, my uncle… it could be me.”

The housing, communities and local government secretary post will be filled by former Northern Ireland minister James Brokenshire, MP for Old Bexley & Sidcup.

Brokenshire stood down as Northern Ireland secretary at the beginning of this year to remove a tumour on his lung, but has recovered well and has now returned to the cabinet in the new role.

He is a long-time ally of Theresa May, from 2010 when he spent four years as a junior Home Office minister during the PM’s time as home secretary and from 2014 where he spent two years as an immigration minister.

The former Northern Ireland secretary will take on an intriguing new brief as head of the MHCLG, a role which will include the tackling of the ongoing housing crisis, building safety proposals post-Grenfell, the facing of calls to reintroduce environmental policies such as zero carbon home standards for new properties, and the increasingly prevalent debate on whether the government should expand building onto green-belt land around the country.

Brokenshire will also lead on major ongoing programmes such as devolution and council mergers, as well as local government’s engagement on Brexit discussions.

 Councillor Paul Carter, chairman of the County Councils Network, said: "James inherits a major agenda ahead as part of his new local government brief-- the fair funding review, housing and planning, the social care green paper, and increased business rate retention. It is important we can keep up the momentum, continuing to position counties as the local authorities that can offer solutions to the government's significant domestic issues.

"We worked closely with James during his time as immigration minister in 2014; I very much look forward to working with him again over the coming years. James is well equipped to manage the large and complex local government agenda ahead."

Top Image: c. David Mirzoeff

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