Yesterday, Boris Johnson made some big changes to his top team in a government reshuffle – and housing minister Esther McVey was shown the door.
Just seven months since Boris Johnson became prime minister and appointed his new team, his latest cabinet cull has seen some big names removed from their roles.
Alongside business secretary Andrea Leadsom, environment secretary Theresa Villiers and transport minister George Freeman, housing minister Esther McVey lost her post in yesterday’s reshuffle.
McVey had held the role since July last year, and was the ninth housing minister to have served since May 2010. For such a vital position, it is hoped the next housing minister will be able to hold onto the job for a lot longer, to provide more certainty and stability within the department and the housing market.
On Twitter, McVey wrote:
I’m very sorry to be relieved of my duties as Housing Minister
I wish my successor the very best & every success
I’m very grateful to the Prime Minister for having given me the opportunity to serve in his government & he will continue to have my support from the back benches
— Esther McVey (@EstherMcVey1) February 13, 2020
Who is the new housing minister?
The new housing minister has been named as Christopher Pincher, MP for Tamworth. He moves from his position as foreign and Commonwealth minister, having also been the deputy chief whip and previously the treasurer of HM household.
On housing, his voting record shows that he consistently voted for phasing out secure tenancies for life. He also voted consistently for charging a market rent to high earners renting a council home.
This Government will deliver on our commitment to build the housing that people need. Looking forward to getting stuck in alongside @RobertJenrick
— Christopher Pincher (@ChrisPincher) February 13, 2020
Housing market needs to find solutions
While the new housing minister has been welcomed in his role, there are now calls for more continuity going forward, and to make housing a priority for the government.
Nick Sanderson, CEO of Audley Group, said: “It’s now 10 in 10 for housing ministers. Ten changes in 10 years, and 19 in 20. Hardly surprising that short-termism remains the order of the day. A lack of understanding of the real issues continues to lead to sticking plaster policies like building more houses.”
“If a change does need to be made, it should be meaningful; bringing together housing, health and social care under one banner would be a genuinely radical shift towards solving issues at their root. Building more specialist housing would have far reaching implications: freeing up existing family homes, taking pressure off the NHS and social care systems, and importantly giving older people suitable and aspirational housing that adapts to their changing needs.
“The government MUST act now and work with the industry to change the narrative on housing and find solutions before the pressure on the system boils over.”
The secretary of state for housing, Robert Jenrick, will remain in his post.