Veteran Conservative MP for South Holland and the Deepings John Hayes has stepped down as Transport Minister as part of Theresa May’s government reshuffle.
Hayes will return to the backbenches after serving as Minister of State for Transport Legislation and Maritime at the Department for Transport since July 2016.
He was responsible for maritime policy, including London International Shipping Week, taxi policy, transport legislation and Parliamentary liaison and coordination, and transport skills.
In a handwritten note to Theresa May confirming his resignation, Hayes said that he would continue to aim to boost social mobility and membership of the Conservative Party, which has reportedly fallen as low as 70,000.
The chairman of the socially conservative Cornerstone Group previously worked as a Transport Minister between 2014 and 2015, and since the Conservatives returned to power in 2010, has held briefs at the Home Office, Department for Education, and the disbanded Department for Energy and Climate Change.
In a hand written letter quitting as a Transport Minister Deepings MP John Hayes pledges to continue to boost social mobility and membership of the Tory party @BBCSunPolEM @bbcemt pic.twitter.com/J2CsCPPasM
— Tony Roe (@tonyroe) January 9, 2018
Theresa May’s reshuffle did not go entirely to plan, with one minister resigning, another reportedly refusing to move, and a final one she supposedly wanted to move not even being asked.
Justine Greening resigned as Education Secretary after reportedly rejecting a move to the Department for Work and Pensions, with Damian Hinds taking her place.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who was tipped for a move to the Department for Business, was instead rewarded with extra responsibility for social care to his portfolio, while Sajid Javid’s already long job title of Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government was expanded to include housing.
Business Secretary Greg Clark, who was expected to be sacked in the reshuffle, seemingly appeared to convince the prime minister to keep him in post.
Brandon Lewis also became the new Conservative Party chairman, despite Transport Secretary Chris Grayling being announced on social media before the post was confirmed.
After all the speculation, Grayling kept his role.
Big guns such as Chancellor Philip Hammond, Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit Secretary David Davis were not moved by Theresa May.