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Housing Minister McVey to be sacked this week, briefings suggest

Unsourced stories in a number of newspapers over the weekend - all likely to have come from government off-the-record briefings - suggest that housing minister Esther McVey is to be sacked this week.

Both The Times and The Daily Telegraph say she is for the chop in a major government reshuffle, to be announced in the second half of the week.

McVey’s departure matters not only because she is the latest in the long-running revolving door of housing ministers, but also because she was - in name at least - overseeing the proposed reform of the house buying process and proposals to introduce mandatory qualifications for agents.


As housing minister McVey reports to Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick.

Some weeks ago the two were reported by newspapers to be in dispute over the broad direction of government housing policy. 

McVey is a minister who is invited to attend Cabinet meetings but is not a formal Cabinet member, so has no vote; Jenrick is a fully-fledged Cabinet member.

Both were appointed to their positions on July 24 last year, and retained their positions after December’s General Election; McVey was the ninth housing minister in nine years.

  • Algarve  Investor

    Strange. I really don't like McVey very much, but she seemed to be doing a decent enough job as Housing Minister. And was certainly taking the position more seriously than her predecessors.

    What is gained by giving her the chop? Maybe the rumours that surfaced about her rift with Jenrick are true.

    Does nothing for the notion that the position of Housing Minister is just a revolving door and makes a mockery of the government's plans to reform the home buying and selling process. That requires consistency and stability, something the MHCLG and DCLG before it have had very little of in recent times.

    A very odd decision.

  • Andrew Stanton PROPTECH-PR A Consultancy for Proptech Founders

    This is an interesting topic, in one sense Esther McVey has, though mostly through sound-bites moved in a positive manner, with a rallying cry of something needs to be done with housing. If she loses her position in the imminent re-shuffle, her vision will be lost, and perhaps the policy she was pushing may change direction under a new replacement.

    Why I say this is interesting is that if anyone took time to read Dominic Cummings open letter to the people following the general election, where he requested that people come join him in a 'brains trust' type scenario. There was a large amount of rhetoric about regeneration, building and planning centred on inner cities and communities.

    So, if the enfant terrible stays the course maybe McVey's replacement might be a stronger advocate of change in housing - though maybe with a more laissez-faire attitude to regulating the actual property industry itself. Less RoPA regulation, more capital investment in communities. Time will tell.

  • icon
    • 10 February 2020 18:48 PM

    Nobody will do anything about housing.
    With open borders there are still too many people entering the UK.
    You could build 4 million social homes and it still wouldn't be sufficient.
    There are streets of empty houses up North in the cities.
    Why aren't the homeless being deported up North to them?
    Govt could buy back all the two million properties sold under RTB.
    It would be a very popular policy.
    Or just buy properties on the open market for social housing at social rents.


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