Barwell in danger as Labour targets housing minister’s seat to launch General Election campaign

The Labour Party chose the marginal seat of housing minister Gavin Barwell to launch its General Election campaign, calling for council houses to be built across the country.

Barwell holds a slim majority of just 165 in Croydon Central, the fourth most marginal seat in the country, and Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn visited the constituency to make it the launchpad for Labour’s General Election campaign.

Corbyn told supporters: “We are here in Croydon because we want to win Croydon. We want a Labour MP who will stand up for the people of Croydon.

“The Labour council in Croydon is building council houses – we want a Labour Government that is building housing across our country.”

Barwell first won the seat at the 2010 General Election and narrowly hung on to it in 2015. He went on to write a book, How to Win a Marginal Seat: My Year Fighting for my Political Life. He was appointed housing minister in July 2016.

However, the pro-Brexit policy of the Government could put him in a difficult position.

Croydon voted 54% to remain at the EU referendum last year. Barwell himself voted Remain but made it clear that he supported the holding of the referendum. He supported the legislation to trigger Article 50.

All Government roles will be dissolved on May 3 as campaigning steps up for the General Election.

If Barwell does retain the seat and the Conservatives stay in power, there is no guarantee he would be kept as housing minister.

If he goes he would join the alumni of Mark Prisk, Grant Shapps, Kris Hopkins and Brandon Lewis who have all held the ministerial brief since 2010.

Barwell seems proud of his record so far.


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  1. sb007ck

    “Proud of what i have achieved”….you havent achieved anything mate. But whether he stays or goes, housing decision are being made by people “above his pay grade” and he is merely the mouthpiece for them.

  2. rsvstu97

    Five housing ministers in 7 years. Just goes to show they have no grand plan and no solution to the housing problem. Net migration of 125000 every year, the size of a small town, means no party will solve the problem. Talk is cheap and that is all they do.

  3. AgencyInsider

    It is a shame to lose Barwell. He is one of the more intelligent Housing Ministers of the last two decades and he really did seem to be on top of his brief and willing to listen (that doesn’t mean he’d change his mind of course…).

    The ever-revolving door at DCLG, where ministers come and go with predictable regularity, will continue to undermine the possibility of ever getting a coherent and credible housing policy in this country.



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