The Prime Minister has confirmed Brandon Lewis will replace Bob Neill as Fire Minister as part of a complete reshuffle of junior ministers this week.

In a further change that will affect the Fire and Rescue Service, Don Foster will replace Andrew Stunnell as minister for Building Regulations.

Neill served in the Department of Communities & Local Government from 2010 and was involved in many key changes for the service including a new working agreement with the Fire Brigades Union and creation of the Fire Sector Federation.

He drew praise for his work from those within the sector with Gloucester Chief Jon Hall saying he welcomed the change but enjoyed working with Mr. Neill and MP John Redwood adding that "it is sad to see the end of Bob Neill".

His replacement is a man who came to prominence as an ally to CLG Minister Eric Pickles when leader of Brentwood Borough Council.

Mr. Lewis is promoted from his backbench role as MP Great Yarmouth, a position Mr. Neill said he is looking forward to returning to.

"It has been a great privilege to have served in the Government and I am very proud of what my Department has achieved over these past two years," he said.

"I had a very positive and friendly conversation with the Prime Minister yesterday and I made it clear that he will have my full support as an active backbencher.

"There is critical work to do in rebuilding our economy and creating the homes and jobs our country needs and above all, I shall be devoting all my energies to standing up for the interests of the people of Bromley and Chislehurst."

Posted 06/09/2012 by