A HEREFORDSHIRE MP has left his Treasury position amid Boris Johnson’s reshuffle, saying he left to help the Conservatives increase diversity.

Conservative Jesse Norman, MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire since 2010, left his position as Financial Secretary to the Treasury, a role he had held since 2019, on September 16.

Mr Norman said he was “honoured” to step down having served since May 2019 as Financial Secretary to the Treasury, but enabling his party to increase diversity would “really make a difference”.

“I believe in public service, but I also believe that increasing diversity and breadth of representation have lots of long-term benefits,” Mr Norman said.

“You get greater life experience, more policy and intellectual challenge, more competition for positions, and more encouragement to newcomers. In government and out, these things really make a difference.”

Eton-educated Mr Norman said he managed the Covid furlough scheme – thought to have saved millions of jobs during the pandemic – financial support for the self-employed and other schemes.

He said put in place a 10-year tax administration strategy, pushed digitisation ahead, enhanced taxpayer safeguards, strengthened the HMRC board, and recruited a great first chair.

“I put eight pieces of primary legislation onto the statute book, including two finance acts, the Covid contingencies fund legislation, and the landmark Health and Social Care Levy,” he said.

“I pay tribute to the astonishing work of civil servants on all this.

“Finally, I spent much of 2020 supporting my extraordinary wife Kate Bingham in her work on the Vaccine Task Force.

“We worked round the clock, with me on furlough, her on vaccines. Someone described us as ‘Mr Tax and Mrs Vax’.

“And I am honoured to serve the people of my constituency and Herefordshire. No human being could ask for better.”

He has, though, faced flak over the so-called loan charge, which critics claim has led to financial ruin and personal harm for some who received their salary via loans.

Mr Norman has been replaced by Lucy Frazer QC, MP for South-East Cambridgeshire.

Mr Norman was one of the changes as Boris Johnson reshaped his Government by carrying out a major overhaul of his cabinet and ministerial appointments.

In a drastic reshuffle last Wednesday, Gavin Williamson was fired as education secretary following his handling of the exams fiasco during the coronavirus crisis, while Robert Buckland lost his job as justice secretary.

Mr Buckland was replaced by Dominic Raab, who was demoted from foreign secretary following widespread criticism of his handling of the Afghanistan crisis, during which he was on holiday in Crete while Kabul was falling to the Taliban.

Liz Truss succeeded him as Foreign Secretary, meaning two of the four great offices of state are currently held by women, with Priti Patel remaining Home Secretary.

Oliver Dowden was replaced as Culture Secretary by Nadine Dorries, and he instead was made Tory party co-chairman before quickly readying Conservative staff for the next general election which could be in 20 months’ time.

Michael Gove succeeded a sacked Robert Jenrick as Housing Secretary and was entrusted with a further key position in the post-Covid agenda by taking responsibility for “levelling up”.

Mr Jenrick, the MP for Newark in Northhamptonshire who has a family home in Eye near Leominster, hit headlines during the first coronavirus lockdown in 2020 when he travelled from the country home to see his parents in Shropshire.

While he faced criticism for breaking lockdown rules on non-essential travel, Mr Jenrick, MP for Newark in Northhamptonshire, defended the trip by saying he was delivering medication.