Esther McVey sacked as Housing Minister

Jake Carter

February 13, 2020

Esther McVey has been relieved from her duties as Housing Minister during a government reshuffle.

McVey succeeded Kit Malthouse, who was dismissed from the role back in July 2019.

In her previous position, McVey reported to Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, who was also appointed in July 2019 and replaced James Brokenshire.

Looking over the past decade McVey was the 10th Housing Minister, and the 17th since 1997.

McVey’s tenure also represents the shortest for a Housing Minister in almost a quarter of a decade.

McVey said on Twitter: “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. [sics]”

John Phillips, national operations director at Just Mortgages, said: “Housing policy requires a clear sense of direction, and that has been sadly lacking in recent years as the ministerial revolving door has spun at a furious pace.

“Now that there is a government with a stable majority, I hope the new Housing Minister stays in place long enough to take on some of the long-term issues that have held the housing market back.

“It’s been easy to blame Brexit uncertainty over the last few years, but the problems are more deep-seated than that.

“It’s not just about the latest initiative to help first-time buyers however important that may be.

“There needs to be concerted action across government to boost supply and make better use of existing stock so that everybody can live somewhere that is right for their needs.”

Nick Sanderson, chief executive at Audley Group, added: “It’s now 10 in 10 for Housing Ministers. 10 changes in 10 years, and 19 in 20.

“Hardly surprising that short term-ism 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.”

More to follow…

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