Cabinet reshuffle: housing added to CLG secretary’s title

8 Jan 18

Communities and local government secretary Sajid Javid has had housing added to his title in the cabinet reshuffle being announced today. 

The move is thought to indicate that the government wants to give more emphasis to tackling the shortage of homes.

Housing was already part of Javid’s brief in the role he took originally in 2016. He piloted last year’s housing white paper, which called for a sharply increased rate of housebuilding.

Terrie Alafat, the chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing, said: “It is right that housing is given this profile and we hope this decision represents a long-term commitment to address the very serious housing issues facing the nation.”

Brian Berry chief executive of construction industry body the Federation of Master Builders, said of Javid’s new title: “The inclusion of the word ‘housing’ sends a clear signal as to the importance the government places on housing policy.

“However, actions always speak louder than words which is why it is vital that we also see continuity, application and a continued willingness to be bold where necessary in housing policy.”

Jeremy Hunt has remained as secretary of state for health but has also had social care added to his brief, and will preside over the newly named Department of Health and Social Care.

The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg speculated over Hunt’s meeting with Theresa May today:

 

 

Local government minister Marcus Jones has become a Conservative party vice-chair for local government, though it remained unclear whether he had retained also his ministerial post.

Justice secretary David Lidington has become Cabinet Office minister and chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster – in effect May’s chief Whitehall fixer.

Immigration minister Brandon Lewis has become chair of the Conservative party. He replaced MP for Derbyshire Dales Patrick McLoughlin, who wrote to the prime minister today saying he felt it was “the right time for me to leave the cabinet”.

Chancellor Philip Hammond, foreign secretary Boris Johnson and home secretary Amber Rudd have all kept their jobs, as has David Davis, secretary of state for exiting the EU. Greg Clark has been reappointed as secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy.

The first announcement of the day on the reshuffle was that Northern Ireland secretary James Brokenshire had decided to resign from government over ill health. It is believed he requires surgery for a lung condition. His replacement had not been announced at the time of publication.

The DCLG change of title marks the sixth name in 20 years for the department responsible for housing and local government.

It has successively been Department of the Environment, Department of Transport, Environment and the Regions, Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Department for Communities and Local Government.

Announcements were still being made on Cabinet appointments at the time of this story going live.

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