Tatton MP Esther McVey has been sacked as housing minister – her successor will be the tenth person to have held the post in as many years.
McVey said: “I wish my successor the very best and every success.”
The Liverpool-born former work and pensions secretary returned to parliament when she took George Osborne’s old seat in 2017, having lost her Wirral West seat in 2015.
Her replacement is MP for Tamworth, Christopher Pincher, who has worked as minister for Europe and Amercias and is a former deputy chief whip.
Other business and property-related ministers sacked in Boris Johnson’s reshuffle on Thursday include:
- Andrea Leadsom as business secretary
- Theresa Villiers as environment secretary
- Nusrat Ghani as transport minister
- Chris Skidmore as education minister
- George Freeman as transport minister
Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid has resigned as part of the reshuffle. It is reported that he was offered to keep his role if he fired his advisers, to which he refused and subsequently resigned. The new chancellor faces a budget in four weeks.
Melanie Leech, chief executive, British Property Federation, said: “It’ll come as a shock to many to lose Sajid Javid as Chancellor of the Exchequer with only four weeks to go to this year’s Budget but Rishi Sunak was already a senior member of the Treasury team and we stand ready to work with him to ensure fiscal policy drives forward much-needed investment across the UK.
“We also welcome Alok Sharma as the new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and Christopher Pincher as the new Minister of State for Housing. A new government with a strong mandate is a big opportunity to ensure stability in key roles including housing, something which has been missing in recent years and has got in the way of delivery.”
Paresh Raja, CEO of national bridging loan provider Market Financial Solutions, said: “A new parliament, a new housing minister. One has to think whether this cabinet position holds any real relevance anymore – it has become something of a merry-go-round, with Esther McVey’s successor becoming the tenth person to hold this position in as many years.
“Given the challenges facing the UK property market, the lack of consistent leadership from the Government in this space is extremely frustrating. We will never be in a position to properly address issues like the housing crisis, not to mention the obstacles preventing people from jumping on and moving up the property ladder, until Westminster gives the position of housing minister more respect and consideration.
“One can only hope that with a majority government now in place, this will be the last cabinet reshuffle we see for some time. But I for one believe too many MPs see the position as little more than stepping-stone.”
Félicie Krikler, director at London-based Assael Architecture, said: “There is a total incompatibility between the political cycles and the long-term aspects of housing. Appointing the tenth housing minister in the last 10 years makes a complete mockery of the role. The industry needs stability to make progress on the housing front and bring forward policies that clarify questions over design, quality and delivery methods concerning the homes we build.
“Understanding and addressing the issues troubling the market takes time and effort, and while another minister gets to grips with the role, we have high streets in need of reform and high-quality homes in need of building. I hope whoever steps in to fill McVey’s place will be able to quickly adapt and contribute to the UK’s housing needs.