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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Today may be final day in office for current housing minister

This may be the final full day in office for Kit Malthouse, the latest politician to occupy the short-term position of housing minister. 

Malthouse was appointed on July 9 last year, meaning he will have been 54 weeks in the post - a relatively brief time but by no means the shortest in the spectacularly volatile history of the position.

With the naming today of a new Prime Minister, who will then assume office after Theresa May resigns tomorrow afternoon, it may be that a new housing minister - if it remains a junior post - will be named as soon as Wednesday evening.

Malthouse was deputy mayor for business and enterprise in London during the period of time that Boris Johnson was mayor; Malthouse had a brief campaign during the early summer to become Conservative party leader himself, but since pulling out of the race he has been a vocal supporter of Johnson.

If the leadership election goes Johnson’s way, as is widely expected, Malthouse may receive some form of promotion.

Some media speculation over the weekend linked Michael Gove - currently Environment Secretary and a long-time rival of Johnson - with the post of Secretary of State at a beefed-up Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

This is the post currently held by James Brokenshire who - along with Heather Wheeler MP, junior minister at the same department - has done most of the political ‘heavy lifting’ in terms of reforming leasehold, introducing the Tenant Fees Ban, proposing the scrapping of Section 21 and presiding over the announcement of far-reaching recommendations from the Regulation of Property Agents working group last week.

Malthouse has confined his activities most to policies relating to the new-build industry.

For the record, here’s the list of housing ministers since 1997. Who knows how long the next one may last…:

- Hilary Armstrong (1997-1999);

- Nick Raynsford (1999-2001);

- Charlie Falconer (2001-2001);

- Jeff Rooker (2001-2003);

- Keith Hill (2003-2005);

- Yvette Cooper (2005-2007);

- Caroline Flint (2007-2008);

- Margaret Beckett (2008-2009);

- John Healey (2009-2010);

- Grant Shapps (2010-2012);

- Mark Prisk (2012-2013);

- Kris Hopkins (2013-2014);

- Brandon Lewis (2014-2016);

- Gavin Barwell (2016-2017);

- Alok Sharma (2017-2018);

- Dominic Raab (2018);

- Kit Malthouse (2018-2019).

  • jeremy clarke

    Who ever takes over at number 10 needs to seize the opportunity to take Housing out of Gov hands. Forget Housing ministers, we need an independent industry driven body to shape the future of housing. For too long Housing has been a political football now is the opportunity to ditch all the crazy rules and red tape, sit down and design something that works, a plan for the social sector, the prs, building, development and sensible legislation that's all in one place rather than spread across hundreds of pieces of legal jargon.

  • Algarve  Investor

    Maybe he'll use his final day to do some actual work - up till now, it's been hard to tell what he's actually done?

    I know it's cliched to say 'they do nothing for their money' - which in a number of cases is unfair - but in the case of Malthouse as Housing Minister it seems entirely accurate. All of the work has been left to Brokenshire, Wheeler and MHCLG. Whenever there is a statement on housing, it comes from one of them, never Malthouse. What does he do with his time?

    The only time he's been in the news since becoming Housing Minister is Brexit-related - with the Malthouse compromise briefly being seen by some as the solution to the Brexit impasse.

    Other than that, he's been as bad as Raab in barely mastering his brief or doing anything of note.

    It's been a revolving door of late, but Malthouse really won't be missed. I can count on one hand the number of times he's made statements on anything property or housing related. Where has he been during the recent major announcements - RoPA, the letting fees ban, changes to leasehold, etc? Completely missing in action.

    Now that housing has a position at the Cabinet table, the role of Housing Minister has become rather redundant. Might as well get rid of it completely, and just use MHCLG and junior ministers like Wheeler - hardworking if flawed - as the connection between Brokenshire and the industry. That's pretty much what we have at the moment.

  • Paul Barrett

    The No 1 concern of most people is housing yet it is not really recognised as such.
    If you get housing policies right they will will invariably come and vote for you.
    When the UK has been the victim of MASS UNCONTROLLED IMMIGRATION and continuing illegal immigration there clearly needs to be a major overhaul as to how they are all to be housed.
    If magically one could wave a magic wand to as it was before Bliar threw open the borders to anyone from any EU countries the housing problems would largely have disappeared
    BrExit is a minor detail compared to Housing.
    The price for such levels of immigration is that millions more houses of all forms of tenure need to be built plus all the associated infrastructure that goes with importing millions of people.
    As far as housing is concerned the surface has barely been scratched.
    Unless considerably more houses are built there will continue to be a housing crisis in high demand areas.
    Plus we still have open borders so they are still flooding in.
    There is simply inadequate infrastructure to cope with these millions of new arrivals.
    Govt needs to recognise that it must build as it cannot rely on private builders who are naturally concerned with maximising profits and have no interest in housing provision for the masses.
    Only Govt can do this so it needs to get spending pronto!

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