A second Swindon MP has left government - but this time has been promoted.

The Conservative MP for North Swindon Justin Tomlinson has left his job as Minister for state for disabled people at the Department for Work and Pensions -  but announced on Twitter he has become the deputy chairman of the Conservative party.


The news comes just a day after his South Swindon colleague Robert Buckland was fired from his cabinet role as justice secretary and Lord Chancellor in prime minister Boris Johnson’s reshuffle.

Mr Tomlinson tweeted: “Thank you to the three PMs who have given me the opportunity to serve as the Minister for Disabled People. I am exceptionally proud to have delivered the National Disability Strategy, record disability employment and scrapping the SRTI six-month rule.”

The scrapped rule stipulated that terminally ill people who wanted to access special government benefits could only do so if there was a reasonable expectation they would die within six months. Campaigns said that discriminated against those with unpredictable conditions like motor-neurone disease. The government decided this summer that it will be abolished from next year.

Mr Tomlinson continued: “The current Health & Disability Green Paper will transform the use of supportive evidence, advocacy, the assessment process and appeals for those seeking support. All shaped by those with real-lived experiences. Next year’s White Paper will be a positive game changer.

"The number one ask of me as a minister, especially from young disabled people was to 'have the same opportunities their friends take for granted' - this drove everything I did.”

Mr Tomlinson referred to Benjamin Maddern, a young boy from Oakhurst with cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

He said: “I will never forget the smiles and pride I saw on my many visits where we had collectively made a difference. Whether young disabled people starting their careers or the amazing @BenjaminsSmile1  joining his brothers thanks to inclusive play equipment - nothing is more rewarding.

"To my fantastic private team, the brilliant health and disability stakeholders (and policy teams!), fellow DWP ministers and all the officials who work exceptionally hard to link up all the streams - THANK YOU!”

He ended his initial thread with a suggestion he has already lined up, or been lined up for, another job: “Whilst this role has come to an end, I am very excited about my new role for the Conservative Party which will be announced soon.”

Just a short time later he spilled the beans: "For those that know me they'll understand just how proud and excited I am to have been appointed as the Deputy Chairman of the Conservatives - focused on campaigning. Dream come true!"

David Renard, leader of Swindon Borough Council clearly approved. He said: "A brilliant appointment. At last!"