Mark Prisk

Mark Prisk was one casualty of yesterday’s government reshuffle

Portas Pilot minister Mark Prisk was one of a number of heads to roll in the government reshuffle yesterday.

Prisk, minister for housing, was closely connected with the Portas Pilots scheme, taking over from his predecessor Grant Shapps. He also chaired the Future High Streets Forum.

Prisk tweeted yesterday: “Been asked to step aside from Housing for a younger generation. Disappointing but it’s been a great eleven years on frontbench.”

In July, Prisk was forced to defend the mixed progress of the Portas Pilots, saying they had never set out to “preserve a historic or stereotype of the high street”.

Keighley MP Kris Hopkin has now joined the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) with a housing brief.

Meanwhile, health minister Anna Soubry, who led discussions around the Responsibility Deal on food and alcohol, has moved to the Ministry of Defence, becoming the first female defence minister. Her replacement is Battersea MP Jane Ellison.

Over at Defra, farming minister David Heath has been replaced by Dan Rogerson after just a year in the role, and fisheries minister Richard Benyon hasbeen replaced by George Eustice.

Other government moves include Matthew Hancock, taking up the job of skills and enterprise minister; and Norman Baker, who has joined the Home Office as minister of state. Elsewhere, employment minister Mark Hoban has left the government.

Ed Miliband took the opportunity to reshuffle his shadow cabinet on the same day, with shadow environment secretary Mary Creagh swapping jobs with shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle.