Housing minister loses seat as May falls short of majority

Several Conservative ministers have failed to retain their seats in last night’s general election, as Theresa May failed to increase the party’s majority ahead of Brexit – instead leading to a hung Parliament.

Among the casualties for the Tories was housing minister Gavin Barwell, which will be a blow for the DCLG’s housing plans. He saw the 165 majority in his Croydon Central marginal seat overturned by Labour’s Sarah Jones.

Other senior Tories including Ben Gummer, the Cabinet Office minister, Jane Ellison, who was named financial secretary to the Treasury last year, and Rob Wilson, the civil society minister, all lost their seats to Labour.

Health minister Nicola Blackwood also lost her Oxford West and Abingdon constituency to Liberal Democrat Layla Moran.

In what was a difficult night for the Conservatives, the prime minister faces ending up with 12 fewer seats than when she called the election. The current forecast is that the Tories are set to get 319 seats, Labour 261, the SNP 35 and the Lib Dems 12. An overall majority requires 326 seats.

It has been speculated that the Conservatives may seek an informal arrangement with the Democratic Unionists Party, which won 10 seats in Northern Ireland. And it is expected that May will go to the palace at 12.30pm today believing she can form a government.

Other big causalities overnight include former Lib Dem leader and one-time deputy PM Nick Clegg losing his Sheffield Hallam, and former first minister of Scotland Alex Salmond being unseated in Gordon by the Conservatives.

In what was a good night for Labour, which saw the party increase its seats across the country, Jeremy Corbyn called for the prime minister to “make way” for a truly representative government.

Paul Nuttall, the leader of the UK Independence Party, which failed to win any seats, announced his resignation this morning.

Alternative to cuts

Responding to the election result, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said it has shown there’s huge enthusiasm for “an alternative to the Conservatives' failed policies of austerity”.

“Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell have defied their critics and inspired millions of people with a manifesto of hope,” he said. “I look forward to continuing to work with them to deliver the alternative to austerity that PCS wholeheartedly supports.

Planning for Brexit in the Civil Service is chaotic, argued Serwotka. He also called for cuts in Civil Service staffing to end, “and more resources must be pumped in urgently”.

(Image: c. Chris Radburn/PA Archive)

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