Westminster breakdown leaves housing exposed

The revolving doors at Westminster have been spinning again, with a huge cabinet shuffle round following explosive Brexit talks at Chequers.

As well as a Jeremy Hunt stepping into the role as new home secretary following the dramatic exit of Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab also took on a new role, as new Brexit secretary after David Davis took his leave.

The name Dominic Raab may not mean much to you, but it should – he WAS the housing secretary – but only for seven months, yet another embarrassingly short tenure in this vital role.

With housing a supposed hot topic in Westminster, surpassed only by Brexit, Raab has jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire with his new position, and is replaced by Kit Malthouse MP, previously the Under-Secretary of State for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance at the Department of Work and Pensions.

Before entering parliament, Malthouse enjoyed a successful career in accounting (so may be open to candid conversations about S24) and was a keen member of the London Assembly, serving as Deputy Mayor for Policing and Deputy Mayor for Business and Enterprise. Prior to this, he was a councillor on Westminster Council.

Despite his good intentions, some industry professionals have voiced their concern as to how well Malthouse will serve the industry in the role:

The Government accepts that we are in a housing crisis with a shortage of good-quality homes, and yet they are showing time and time again that housing is not a priority. The market needs a housing minister with industry experience, who is dedicated to understanding and fixing the problems the market is facing.

Iain McKenzie, CEO of the Guild of Property Professionals

Only time will tell how long Mr Malthouse is able to stay seated as the Housing Minister – with whispers of another general election in the autumn, and Brexit continuing to rock Westminster to its core, it’s clear that no position is ‘as safe as houses’.

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