ROBERT Jenrick has chaired several coronavirus press briefings in Boris Johnson's absence.

He is also one of the government's public faces in the fight against the virus, but is now under pressure and facing calls to resign over his decision to green-light a Tory donor’s £1billion housing development.

Who is Robert Jenrick?

Robert Jenrick, 38, is the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

He has served as Member of Parliament for Newark since 2014 and became a member of the cabinet in 2019.

He was born Wolverhampton in 1982, and grew up in Shropshire near the town of Ludlow.

Jenrick attended Wolverhampton Grammar School and then read history at St John's College, Cambridge, graduating in 2003.

He went on to study in America and then became a lawyer, qualifying as a solicitor in 2008 and later practising with law firms in London and Moscow.

He was also a Director of Christie's, a large auction house where he held senior financial roles including international managing director of the company.

Jenrick first ran for election for the Conservatives in 2010 in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, but fell short by 1,582 votes to Paul Farrelly of the Labour party.

However, in 2013 he was elected in the conservative safe seat Newark after the resignation of Patrick Mercer.

At a by-election held on 5 June 2014, he retained the seat with a majority of 7,403, which was the strongest peacetime by-election result for the Conservative Party in government for over 40 years.

At the 2015 general election, Jenrick was re-elected with 57% of the vote, the largest majority in the history of the constituency.

After Boris Johnson's victory in the 2019 general election, Jenrick was made Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

He is the youngest member of the cabinet.

What is the Richard Desmond row about?

Robert Jenrick faced calls to resign after admitting he helped a major Tory donor save up to £50million in tax.

Boris Johnson threw his weight behind Robert Jenrick over his decision to greenlight a Tory donor's £1billion housing development.

The Housing Secretary was forced to publish documents over his approval.

The Tory minister had released papers relating to his approval of the Westferry development in East London, owned by ex-newspaper chief Richard Desmond.

He was accused of sanctioning the deal after Mr Desmond made a £12,000 donation to the Conservative Party.

Among documents, one aide suggested that Mr Jenrick speed up the decision to save Mr Desmond from paying a £40million council tax levy.

Mr Jenrick, 38, also sat next to the tycoon at a donors’ ball where he admitted Mr Desmond showed him a video of the development.

The planning decision was later scrapped after a court challenge.

How has he been involved in the fight against coronavirus?

Jenrick previously spoke at the conference in late March, alongside the Prime Minister and deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries.

The housing secretary has also told people to postpone moving house as the virus continues to spread.

He said: "I know that many people across the country are due to move house.

"Whilst emergency measures are in place, all parties should do all they can to agree a new move date."

He is also overseeing a mission to deliver fifty thousand food boxes to the vulnerable in an effort not seen since the Second World War.

Cans of tinned goods, loo roll and cornflakes are being sorted into food parcels for those who can’t leave their homes for 12 weeks.

Ministers are working with the food industry, local government and emergency partners to ensure the food parcels can be delivered. Depending on demand, hundreds of thousands of boxes could be sent out each week.

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