Harry Hill - former chief executive of Countrywide and founder of Rightmove - has sharply criticised the appointment of Theresa May’s latest housing minister, Alok Sharma.
In a series of tweets Hill wrote: “Very sad to see that the new minister for housing appears to have absolutely no suitable experience or expertise for the job. Crass!”
Hill continued by saying that he was sure Sharma was a “very nice chap” because “most accountants are”. Hill also wished Sharma well in his role, which was announced 48 hours before the Grenfell Tower fire.
Hill is a non-exec director of Hunters estate agency group, founded by Kevin Hollinrake who since 2015 has been a Conservative MP - and tipped by some within the property industry as a suitable experienced voice who could become a housing minister.
However, Sharma is a chartered accountant with a career in corporate finance prior to his election as a Tory MP in 2010. He has served on the Treasury and science and technology select committees, having previously being David Cameron’s infrastructure envoy to India.
He has no experience of housing.
Sharma - who has yet to make a major public statement relating to his new portfolio - yesterday met representatives from the Home Builders Federation, Local Government Association and the National Housing Federation to consider issues relating to cladding used on some social housing in the UK.