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Mark Prisk, Chloe Smith, Don Foster and Norman Baker feature in government reshuffle

Housing minister Mark Prisk has expressed his “disappointment” after being asked to step aside as housing minister by the prime minister.

The former construction minister tweeted: “Been asked to step aside from Housing for a younger generation. Disappointing but it’s been a great eleven years on [frontbench].”

Mr Prisk was made housing minister in September last year, having previously held the construction brief at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills where he had been heavily involved in work on important reform documents including the Government Construction Strategy.

The Federation of Master Builders tweeted their appreciation for Mr Prisk being “such an engaged housing minister”.

Simon Rawlinson, head of strategic research at EC Harris said to have lost Mr Prisk and Chloe Smith in the same reshuffle was “disappointing” for the industry, as “the last thing the industry needs as recovery takes shape is either a delay in existing initiatives, or a change in direction prior to the election, for example government’s mandate on BIM”.

He added: “Mark Prisk was a very effective minister with a good grasp of the industry, to have lost him completely from government is to be regretted.”

National Housing Federation chief executive David Orr said Mr Prisk had been “doing his best in a difficult economic climate”.

He pointed out that the former housing minister was “always willing to listen to housing associations” and “understood the problems we were trying to solve”.

“Whoever takes his place must have a similar drive and look to maintain the good relationships he made in the sector,” Mr Orr added.

Norman Baker has left his role at the Department for Transport and been appointed as minister at the Home Office. His replacement will be Baroness Kramer, who has been a member of the Treasury Select Committee and a former Lib Dem spokeswoman for transport.

Scarborough and Whitby MP Robert Goodwill, a Conservative whip, will be the transport minister responsible for High Speed 2.

Matt Hancock has been promoted to the role of minister for skills & enterprise at BIS and the Department for Education, from his previous role as under secretary of state.

Don Foster has left his role of communities minister at DCLG and taken the position of Lib Dem chief whip, replacing Alistair Carmichael.

Mr Foster earlier this year oversaw publication of the new Part L energy-efficiency regulations on houses and non-domestic buildings - due to come into force next year.

He had replaced Andrew Stunell in the role as part of the last cabinet reshuffle in September last year.

Cabinet Office minister Chloe Smith announced her resignation via Twitter last night.

Ms Smith had been the minister with responsibility for construction within the Cabinet Office and had been hailed for her work in areas including BIM strategy and working for SMEs.

Ms Smith, who had been in the role for a year after she moved from the Treasury, tweeted news of her resignation with a link to a statement where she said she would focus on being MP for Norwich North.

She said: “I wrote to the prime minister on the 19th of September to explain my decision, and that I intended to serve until the next reshuffle. He has thanked me for my three years of service as a minister and given me his best wishes.

“I was only 27 when I was lucky enough to be elected to parliament and I want to use this experience to communicate with a new generation of younger voters about public participation and the Conservative message,” she added.

The announcement came after transport minister Simon Burns resigned on Friday to launch a bid to become a deputy commons speaker, while deputy chief whip John Randall also resigned on Sunday.

The Norwich MP had met with the BIM 2050 group and been named an honourary member earlier this year, while challenging them to report on how to promote BIM to create jobs.

She had called on the government to use its weight as a major client in the industry to encourage the use of BIM.

Ms Smith hailed as “encouraging”, figures revealed by Construction News in August which showed the level of construction spending with SMEs from some of the government’s tier one suppliers.

The Cabinet Office has set a target of ensuring 25 per cent of its procurement spending goes to SMEs – businesses with fewer than 250 employees and a turnover of less than £43m (€50m) – directly and through the supply chain by 2015.

More to follow.

Other moves:

Robert Goodwill has been appointed as parliamentary under secretary at the Department for Transport

Baroness Stowell has been appointed as parliamentary under secretary at DCLG

Sajid Javid has been appointed as financial secretary to the Treasury.

Greg Clark has been appointed as minister of state for cities and constitution at the Cabinet Office.

Nicky Morgan has been appointed as economic secretary at the Treasury.

Esther McVey has been appointed as minister of state for employment at the Department of Work and Pensions.

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