Former MP Gavin Barwell appointed as new Downing St chief of staff

| Updated: Jun 11, 2017 06:59 IST

London [U.K.], June 11 (ANI): Prime Minister Theresa May appointed former Housing Minister Gavin Barwell as the new Downing Street chief of staff. May said she is very excited that Barwell accepted the role and asserted that the latter will bring 'considerable experience' to the post, reported the Daily Mail. Barwell who was earlier the Croydon Central MP, lost his seat to Labour in the general election. His appointment comes after the resignation of the prime minister's closest aides Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, who was serving as joint chiefs of staff. "Barwell has been a first class minister and is widely respected. He will bring considerable experience of the party to the post," said May. "As I said yesterday, I want to reflect on the election and why it did not deliver the result I hoped for.Gavin will have an important role to play in that," she added. Meanwhile, Barwell said that, "I voted for Theresa May to become Prime Minister." "I believe she is the best person to heal the divisions in our country that last year's referendum and the General Election have laid bare, getting the best Brexit deal for the whole country and leading us towards a brighter future outside the EU," he added. He further said that he is thrilled to have the opportunity to serve as the chief of staff. In 2015 election he secured his seat with a margin of just 165 seats. However, he lost out to Labour's Sarah Jones by 5,000 votes. Barwell had also written a book called How to Win a Marginal Seat, which was published last year. Earlier, both Timothy and Hill resigned from their post following the Conservatives' loss in the snap general elections held on Thursday. Both stepped down amid calls for the Prime Minister to sack them or face a leadership challenge on Monday. "I take responsibility for my part in this election campaign, which was the oversight of our policy programme. In particular, I regret the decision not to include in the manifesto a ceiling as well as a floor in our proposal to help meet the increasing cost of social care. But I would like to make clear that the bizarre media reports about my own role in the policy's inclusion are wrong: it had been the subject of many months of work within Whitehall, and it was not my personal pet project," Timothy wrote on the Conservative Home website. Timothy, who was special adviser to Theresa May when she was Secretary of State at the Home Office and also worked on her election campaign, was appointed Joint Chief of Staff last year in July. The Conservative Party failed to reach the halfway mark of 326 seats to form government in Britain after snap general election were held on Thursday and will now need support from other parties to reach the halfway mark of 326 in the 650-seat House of Commons. After failing to secure a majority in the parliament in the election, Prime Minister Theresa May has announced plans to form a government with the backing of the Democratic Unionist Party. In a statement after returning from Buckingham Palace, where she received the Queen's permission to form a government, May shrugged off a growing backlash in the Conservative Party, and said she would provide the "certainty" the country needed, The Guardian reported. She insisted she would press ahead with Brexit talks, which are to begin in 10 days. Many believe the results of the 2017 general elections will also impact Britain's exit from the 27-nation bloc, as the main reason behind calling for sudden elections was to strengthen May's hands in parliament to negotiate with Brussels and pass necessary legislation. The results left the Tories 12 short of the required majority and this will embolden anti- Brexit parties. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has already called on May to resign, saying 'Politics has changed" as Britons had rejected her policies of "austerity". He urged May to "go and make way for a government that is truly representative of this country." (ANI)

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