Greenwich and Woolwich MP with a track record of campaigning on low pay, renter rights and placemaking takes key DLUHC brief

Matthew Pennycook has been appointed as housing minister as widely expected.

matthew pennycook

Matthew Pennycook is the new housing minister

Pennycook, who was-re-elected as MP for Greenwich and Woolwich with a majority of over 18,000, had served as shadow housing minister since 2021.

He will work underneath Angela Rayner, who was confirmed as housing secretary on Friday evening.

Pennycook, aged 41, is seen by many as a rising star within the Labour party.

He has in the past shown a keen interest in tackling poverty and low pay. He volunteered with the Child Poverty Action Group and worked for the Resolution Foundation thinktank on issues including welfare reform and working party, later serving on the Living Wage Foundation’s board.

More recently he was played a prominent role in Labour’s scrutiny of the Renters (Reform) Bill, tabling an amendment that would have prevented landlords selling a property for two years after a tenancy has begun.

Pennycook has spoken of the importance of “placemaking”, ensuring housing developments have infrastructure such as schools, shops and other facilities to support them.

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He accused the previous Conservative government of thinking that “liberalising the planning system is the answer to everything”.

Speaking to The House magazine last year, Pennycook said: “And, actually, what it has meant across the country… is unconstrained planning developments, which are heavily car-dependent, and don’t have sufficient amenities for those that live there.

“It’s got to be about people and placemaking, rather than what developers need out of the system.”

Jim McMahon has also been appointed at a minister at the Department for Levelling Up and Communities and is expected to take on the local government brief.