Daventry's MP gets promoted in Theresa May's new government
Chris Heaton-Harris was appointed as an Assistant Whip on Sunday in Theresa May’s reshuffle.
Announcing his new position, Mr Heaton-Harris posted online: “I’m delighted to have been asked to join the Government’s Whips’ Office as an Assistant Whip.
“A week is, absolutely, a long time in politics.”
Only a week before his appointment, Mr Heaton-Harris was supporting Theresa May’s opponent Andrea Leadsom in the leadership contest.
There are Conservative Assistant Whips, and 18 people overall working as Government Whips.
Whips work to ensure party members turn up to vote, and vote the way their party wants them to do. A job made more important due to the Conservative’s current slim 11-seat majority in the Commons.
Whips frequently act as tellers, counting how MPs vote during divisions. They also, along with the Leader of the House, help arrange the business of the Commons.
Mr Heaton-Harris supported South Northants MP Andrea Leadsom in her bid to become leader of the Conservatives. It was Mrs Leadsom’s withdrawal from the race that allowed Theresa May to become Prime Minister without a vote by party members.
Mrs Leadsom, a prominent Brexiteer, has been appointed Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The job involves dealing with flooding, farming, food, and environmental protection – much of which has been the subject of EU rules. The department also deals with subsidies to farmers that come from the EU.
Michael Ellis, MP for Northampton North, was appointed Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, and Assistant Whip. He had been a Parliamentary Private Secretary to Mrs May when she was Home Secretary.