Oliver Dowden has written to the Prime Minister this morning to tender his resignation as chair of the Conservative Party.
Following what has been a disastrous night for the Conservative Party, after byelection losses in both Wakefield and in Tiverton and Honiton, Oliver Dowden – who has been the MP for Hertsmere since 2015 – has stepped down from his role as chairman, saying someone “must take responsibility” for a recent run of “very poor” results.
The Tory MP confirmed his resignation in writing to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and shared the letter on Twitter this morning.
“We cannot carry on with business as usual,” he said in his letter.
Oliver Dowden had served as co-chairman of the Conservative Party from 2021 to 2022.
Mr Dowden’s role as party chair was combined with a position as minister without portfolio, sitting in the cabinet.
Prior to being appointed in the role of co-chairman, Mr Dowden previously served as Minister for the Cabinet Office from 2019 to 2020, and most-notably made a name for himself as the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – a position he held from 2020 to 2021.
Mr Dowden’s letter of resignation reads in full: “Yesterday’s Parliamentary by-elections are the latest in a run of very poor results for our party.
“Our supporters are distressed and disappointed by recent events, and I share their feelings.
“We cannot carry on with business as usual. Somebody must take responsibility and I have concluded that, in these circumstances, it would not be right for me to remain in office.”
He added that “has been an honour” to serve in the cabinet.
The letter continues: “I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to our excellent Conservative volunteers and staffers who work so tirelessly for our cause. They are the backbone of our great party and deserve better than this.
“Finally I want to emphasise that this is a deeply personal decision that I have taken alone. I will, as always, remain loyal to the Conservative Party.”
A look at the plans to turn historic Ancoats mill with rich musical heritage into new apartment complex
Hodder + Partners have just revealed new CGIs and a more detailed look at the plans for their redevelopment of the longstanding Brunswick Mill in Ancoats which is set to become a brand-new apartment complex.
The proposals to turn the once creative space with decades of musical heritage into a new residential site were revealed back in 2021 and approved within just a few months, despite having been met with plenty of resistance given its history and cultural significance.
Nevertheless, Northern company Big Red Construction recently kicked off the £50+ million renovation on behalf of developer Arrowsmith Investments and the apartments are projected to be finished in 2026.
With that in mind, the architectural designers Hodder have just released a new look at what Brunswick Mill is set to look like once completed:
Set to transform the historic industrial mill-turned-creative space and music studios on the edge of New Islington into 153 new apartments, ranging from one, two and three-bedroom residences, the redevelopment will be spread across two phases.
In line with designs by Hodder + Partners, the initial phase involves converting the existing mill building and the construction of new four and seven-storey elements to accommodate the remaining 127 homes on the Bradford Road plot in Ancoats.
Big Red Construction, who are also working on the Peelers Yard building for CERT Property and Myprotein founder Oliver Cookson, are expected to complete phase one by the first quarter of 2026.
Here’s another look at what living space people are already buying up:
Along with Hodder + Partners as architects, the project team also consists of HW Consultancy who are covering structural aspects, Manchester firm Clancy for mechanical and electrical considerations, as well as AM Pyro as fire engineers.
With property company Orlando Reid serving as estate agents for the project, 42 out of the 153 apartments have already been sold off-plan, with managing director Baljit Arora describing it as “an exciting period for all parties involved and for the city of Manchester”.
This is just the latest chapter in the continued regeneration of the Ancoats and the New Islington areas, which remain two of the most heavily re-developed areas in the city centre and Greater Manchester as a whole. You can see other hot properties in and around the region HERE.