Sajid Javid has been moved to the Home Office and replaced by James Brokenshire as secretary of state at the Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government.
Mr Javid’s appointment as home secretary comes after Amber Rudd resigned last night for misleading MPs over deportation targets.
Mr Javid has been at the recently renamed Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government since July 2016.
Mr Brokenshire is former Northern Ireland secretary, and also held ministerial posts for immigration and crime before leaving the government in January to have lung surgery.
Following his appointment Mr Brokenshire tweeted: “Honoured to have been asked by the Prime Minister to serve as Secretary of State at the Ministry of Housing Communities & Local Government. Looking forward to taking the Government’s agenda forward especially on building the homes our country needs.”
Reacting to the news, Local Government Association chair Lord Porter (Con) said he was “sad to lose” Mr Javid.
“It’s bad news for us because we have to start all over again but James is fine - we’ve worked with him before around immigrant children,” said Lord Porter.
Lord Porter said he knows “not loads” about Mr Brokenshire but added he is already trying to make formal contact with the new housing and communities secretary. He said he did not know if Mr Brokenshire would continue attending weekly meetings at the LGA like his predecessors Mr Javid and Greg Clark did.
Mr Brokenshire’s appointment comes at a critical time for local government with major issues relating to financial viability of the sector coming under scrutiny, rising pressures in children’s and adults social care, the ongoing response to Grenfell, intervention in Northamptonshire CC, and final decisions to be taken on reorganisation proposals for Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire.
Lord Porter said “there is never a good time to lose your secretary of state” and added “there is always a risk” key decisions could be delayed but said the LGA’s job “is to try and mitigate against that”.
Terrie Alafat, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing said paid tribute to the “important contribution” Mr Javid made during his time as housing and communities secretary.
“During his time in the role housing has become a top domestic priority for the government and we’ve seen an important shift in the narrative on housing - including a move to a more balanced view of the response we need to solve our housing crisis.”
She wished Mr Javid “the best in his new role” and added: “We look forward to working with Mr Brokenshire at this crucial time, as we seek to tackle the acute housing challenges we face.”
John Fuller (Con), chair of the District Councils’ Network, said: “We congratulate James Brokenshire on this appointment and look forward to building a relationship with the new minister to further improve lives and build stronger economies for the people we serve, in a geography they can recognise and relate to.”