Who is Robert Jenrick, the Housing Secretary facing calls to resign?

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has found himself in hot water over a controversial £1 billion development, but who is the Cabinet minister now facing calls to resign?

The 38-year-old father-of-three, who grew up in Shropshire, is a trained solicitor who worked in corporate law at leading international law firms in London and Moscow.

He then turned his attentions to business, working in senior commercial management at the world-famous global art firm Christie’s.

According to Mr Jenrick’s website, his last role was as an international managing director of the company, managing sales and staff in London, Paris, Amsterdam, Hong Kong and New York.

Wolverhampton-born, Mr Jenrick entered the Commons as MP for Newark in Nottinghamshire in a 2014 by-election, and took up his first ministerial post as Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury in 2018.

Budget 2018
Robert Jenrick (left) with then Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Treasury team in 2018 (David Mirzoeff/PA)

He was appointed Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government in July last year.

His website proudly displays photographs of him with former Conservative prime ministers David Cameron and Theresa May, as well as broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough.

Not long after the lockdown began, Mr Jenrick found himself having to explain his actions after travelling for more than an hour to visit his parents, despite warning the public they must stay at home.

Cameron meets new MP for Newark
Prime Minister David Cameron welcomes newly elected Newark MP Robert Jenrick to the Houses of Parliament in 2014 (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

He also faced criticism for driving 150 miles from his London property to his Herefordshire home, a 17th century manor house, from where he then travelled to his parents in Shropshire.

But he defended himself, saying he went to deliver food and medicine to his isolating parents, and was backed by Boris Johnson, whose official spokesman said he was confident that Mr Jenrick had complied with the social distancing rules during the visit.

In this latest controversy he has once again been backed by the Prime Minister, with the head of the Civil Service saying Mr Johnson “considered the matter closed”.

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