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Brandon Lewis becomes minister of state for housing and planning

Words: Sam Waddicor

Brandon Lewis, a former government minister and MP for Great Yarmouth, replaces Nick Boles as planning minister in this week's Cabinet reshuffle.

Lewis’s appointment marks the restoration of both planning and housing to full minister of state level, although  Unlike Boles, however, Lewis will not have responsibility for coastal communities; this was passed to new junior minister Penny Mordaunt, who aso has responsibility supporting Lewis with planning caseworlk.

Lewis entered politics as a borough councillor for Hutton South on Brentwood Borough Council in 1998, before going on to be Conservative group leader four years later. During his time as leader of the council Lewis co-hosted a radio show with local MP Eric Pickles.

He was elected as MP for Great Yarmouth in 2010, defeating Labour incumbent Anthony Wright by just over 4,000 votes. He ran on a campaign of openness about his expenses. Until 2012 Lewis served on both the Work and Pensions Seclect Committee and the Regulatory Reform Select Committee. He was then promoted to under secretary of state at the Department of Communities and Local Government, making him responsible for local government, fire services, high streets, travellers and community pubs.

Lewis holds a degree in economics from the University of Buckinghamshire as well as an LLB in law from the same establishment. He also has an LLM in commercial law from King’s College London. Before becoming part of the government, Lewis was an active member of both the enterprise zones and local growth all-party parliamentary committees.