Reshuffled cabinet includes new Minister for Housing and Secretary of State for Environment

17 February 2020

Industry reacts to the new title holders with dismay due to continued ‘revolving door’ nature of the movements through the Ministry of Housing, which some have blamed for lack of focus and direction in the critical sector.

Christopher Pincher MP has been promoted from the position of Minister of State for Europe and the Americas to replace Esther McVey as the 11th Housing Minister in just ten years.

“As Mr Pincher gets his feet under the table, we want the Minister to focus on two major issues that affect BMF members - narrowing the gap between housing demand and supply, and the decarbonisation of heating and electrification of homes.” said John Newcomb, chief executive, the Builders Merchants’ Federation.

“Constant chopping and changing does the construction industry little good as it creates uncertainty on the direction of housing policy.  Changes in Ministers inevitably mean changes in priority, if not policy, so we hope that Mr Pincher will be given a good run in the post so that he can develop a constructive relationship with the sector.” Said Clive Docwra, managing director of McBains.

“There is a total incompatibility between the political cycles and the long-term aspects of housing, and appointing the tenth housing minister in the last ten years makes a complete mockery of the role.” Said Félicie Krikler, director at Assael Architecture.

“Given the challenges facing the UK property market, the lack of consistent leadership from the Government in this space is extremely frustrating. We will never be in a position to properly address issues like the housing crisis, not to mention the obstacles preventing people from jumping on and moving up the property ladder, until Westminster gives the position of housing minister more respect and consideration.” Said Paresh Raja, CEO of Market Financial Solutions

George Eustace MP, previously Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has been promoted to Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which covers forestry, a move which environmentalists groups have questioned due to his lax voting record on measures to help with climate change.