Don’t take your coat off…new Minister for Housing appointed.

By Ruth Brown

As part of Boris Johnson’s mini cabinet re-shuffle this week, yet another Housing Minister has been appointed in a position which feels a revolving door.

The former deputy chief whip, Stuart Andrew, MP for Pudsey, replaces Christopher Pincher.

Many publications have commented on the fact that this will be the eleventh housing minister in 12 years since the Conservatives came to power in 2010. His predecessor was appointed in February 2020 and The Times quipped that he would only need to stay in the role until October this year to avoid being the shortest serving minster in the role.

The appointment has raised a few eyebrows, the Boris loyalist and landlord has been MP for Pudsey since 2010 and was one of 72 MPs who were criticised for voting against a 2016 amendment to the then Housing and Planning Bill designed to ensure all rented homes should be fit for human habitation.

He also campaigned against plans by Leeds City Council for 70,000 homes in the city, a move he described in parliament as “over-ambitious” and posing “a threat to the green-belt land that makes our city and my constituency great.”

His website currently lists “saving green spaces” as one of his six central priorities. It says: “I will continue to work with local residents and community groups to save green spaces that are under threat of development thanks to Leeds Labour Council. We need to preserve these sites for future generations to enjoy.”

There is a sense in the sector of polite indifference, resigned to the challenge of building relationships with yet another minister who probably won’t be around that long.

What we need is someone who understands the sector, appreciates the need for affordable rented housing as well as home ownership and will stay in post long enough to make headway in tackling this hugely complex area.

If I were a betting woman…I think I’d just save my money, to be honest. The Grand National’s taking place soon and you’re probably more likely to back a winner there.

Ruth Brown

Head of Business Services

Ruth has 12 years’ experience in the charity sector, managing teams to deliver ambitious income targets and ensuring that supporters receive a gold standard of service. She is an experienced leader in income generation, business development, marketing and people management.