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General Election 2017: Planning minister Barwell loses his seat

Words: Laura Edgar
Gavin Barwell | Cabinet Office

The general election has resulted in the UK Government looking for a new housing and planning minister following Gavin Barwell's defeat to Labour in his Croydon Central constituency.

With nearly all the results returned, Conservative Party leader Theresa May has lost 12 seats, with the party winning 318 seats. To form a majority government, 326 seats are needed.

The Labour Party gained 30 seats (262), the Liberal Democrats gained four seats (12) and the Scottish National Party (SNP) lost 21 seats (35).

The Democratic Unionist Party has 10 seats, Sinn Fein has seven and Caroline Lucas retained her and the Green Party’s only seat. UKIP lost its one seat.

The count has been carried out a number of times in the normally safe Conservative seat, with suggestions the vote is too close to call.

Labour’s Sarah Jones received 29,873 votes compared to Barwell’s 24,221 votes, overturning his 165 majority.

Sajid Javid, who was communities secretary under May, increased his majority, receiving 33,493 votes.  Labour’s Michael Thompson received 16,920 votes, leaving him in second.

May’s energy secretary Greg Clark received 30,856 votes, while the environment secretary, Andrea Leadsom, received 40,599 votes.

May retained her seat in Maidenhead. Despite losing her majority in the House of Commons, she has been to Buckingham Palace to seek permission to form a government with the support of the DUP.

She has said her government will "provide certainty" and work to keep the country "safe and secure", and that her party and the DUP will work together, having "enjoyed a strong relationship over many years".

Brexit negotiations will continue on the same timetable as before, she added.

She is attempting to stay office on the understanding the Democratic Unionist Party will support her minority administration.

At this time of uncertainty, the Royal Town Planning Institute is calling on the next government to invest in and utilise the expertise of planners "to create an inclusive, economically successful and resilient society, during and after Brexit negotiations".

The institute has said that planners are "vital" to making places across the UK that have the right jobs, homes and infrastructure. The government, the RTPI continued, needs to recognise the value of UK planners, invest in educating a skilled built environment workforce, and allow for people with the best skills to continue to come in to the UK to support the construction of the housing and infrastructure we need.

The RTPI added that it will call on the next government to uphold our international agreements on climate change and sustainable development and promote the highest standards for the environment.   

* This story was updated following the recount in the Kensington and Chelsea constituency, which Labour won.

Read more:

Industry reacts as Conservatives form government with DUP support

The RTPI's election manifesto on the insitute's website (pdf)

Image credit | Cabinet Office