The former Housing Minister who had promised to drive through major leasehold reforms but lost his seat in the General Election has been appointed Theresa May’s Chief of Staff.
As MP, Gavin Barwell had grasped his leasehold brief extremely well and was taking active steps to improve the sector and tackle some of its inherent injustices.
He also committed to fully funding the Leasehold Advisory Service, so that it would no longer pursue commercial activities and instead focus on its original remit of providing leasehold advice to the public.
But in the snap election, Barwell lost his Croydon Central seat – leaving a big question mark over the reforms he had promised.
Having a senior civil servant with such a grasp on residential leasehold property positioned at the heart of Downing Street, could mean there is scope for more ambitious changes to the industry. However, national problems such as Brexit may dominate his time.
Barwell has replaced May’s aides Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy, who have been largely blamed for the Tory party’s lost majority in the Commons.
Following the disastrous election for the party, May said:
"I am sorry for those candidates and hard-working party workers who weren't successful, but also particularly sorry for those colleagues who were MPs or ministers who had contributed so much to our country and who lost their seats and didn't deserve to lose their seats."