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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Housing Secretary Jenrick confident of keeping job in reshuffle

Controversial Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, tipped by some for sacking when the Cabinet is reshuffled next month, appears to be confident he will survive.

He has agreed to be the keynote speaker at Resi 2020, a physical and online conference to be held in late November this year - some months later than usual because of the pandemic.

Jenrick has been the subject of a string of accusations surrounding breaking the lockdown in the spring and more dramatically his role in a planning decision in east London.

Against the advice of his own planning officers at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Jenrick gave the go-ahead for a £2 billion 500-apartment London housing scheme led by billionaire former ‘adult entertainment’ and newspaper owner Richard Desmond.

Jenrick gave the go ahead some weeks after meeting Desmond at a Conservative fund-raising dinner and viewing details of the scheme on Desmond’s telephone; some weeks after the decision was taken by Jenrick, Desmond made a contribution to the Tory party.

Other speakers addressing the RESI conference include Lawrence Bowles - director of residential research at Savills estate agency - and a series of residential developers discussing how Covid-19 will affect the industry.

One more unusual session will consider how the Coronavirus may change the concept of the home and alter planning policies to encourage more residential development in suburbs and town centres.

There will be a number of virtual showcases and events as well as those staged at the venue, the Celtic Manor Resort in south Wales. You can see more details of the conference here.

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