David Cameron appoints consumer rights MP Robert Halfon to the cabinet


Robert Halfon has been promoted to deputy chairman of the Conservative Party in David Cameron’s post-election reshuffle.

Mr Halfon, who was re-elected as Harlow MP, will also attend cabinet as minister without portfolio.

He has enjoyed a rapid rise through the Tory ranks, due largely to his reputation as a campaigner for consumer rights.

Widely hailed for his lower petrol price crusade, he was appointed as Chancellor George Osborne’s private secretary last year.

During the election campaign he spent hours each day sitting by the side of busy roads in his constituency with placards, urging voters to send him back to parliament.

The former political director of Conservative Friends of Israel was rewarded with a vastly increased majority, up to 8,350 from 4,925 five years ago.

Last October, following the historic House of Commons vote on Palestinian statehood, Mr Halfon criticised the efforts of pro-Israel campaigners in Britain.

He said Jewish communal organisations had failed to move with the times and challenged British Jews to make a fundamental revolution in how they support Israel in public.

Mr Cameron also appointed veteran Tory MP Oliver Letwin to the cabinet. He will be in overall charge of the Cabinet Office.

Eric Pickles loses his job as Communities Secretary, but is expected to work with the new Holocaust Memorial Foundation, set up as a result of Mr Cameron's Holocaust Commission.

Greg Clark will replace Mr Pickles at the Department for Communities and Local Government.

As promised during the election campaign, Mr Cameron has made Ros Altmann Pensions Minister.

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