Housing quantity and quality, fire safety and permitted development ’must top new minister’s agenda’
Boris Johnson has unveiled his new-look cabinet including appointing Christopher Pincher as the 10th housing minister in as many years.
His predecessor Esther McVey’s sacking was one of the earliest announcements of today’s reshuffle but delays caused by the shock resignation of chancellor Sajid Javid meant her replacement was not confirmed until this evening.
Pincher was previously a minister in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the deputy chief whip.
He tweeted tonight: ”This Government will deliver on our commitment to build the housing that people need. Looking forward to getting stuck in alongside @RobertJenrick.”
Delighted to be appointed as the @mhclg Minister of State for Housing - though sad to be leaving a great team at @foreignoffice.— Christopher Pincher (@ChrisPincher) February 13, 2020
This Government will deliver on our commitment to build the housing that people need. Looking forward to getting stuck in alongside @RobertJenrick
RIBA president Alan Jones said: “As the 10th housing minister in 10 years, Christopher Pincher must get to work urgently to ensure the delivery of high-quality, safe and sustainable homes that create and support community cohesion.
“This means bringing an end to permitted development rules which allow developers to sidestep vital quality and environmental standards, and making urgent changes to fire safety regulations to ensure people are safe.
”Strong leadership is essential to meet the government’s ambitious housing targets and radically reduce the carbon emissions of the built environment to reach net zero by 2050.”
Speaking before news of Pincher’s appointment broke, Félicie Krikler, director at 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.”
Housing secretary Robert Jenrick kept his job. In a letter to congratulate him, RTPI chief executive Victoria Hills told him the government needs to:
- resource local planning authorities if they are to deliver the government’s targets on net zero carbon, housing and infrastructure;
- remove barriers to the creation of city-regional spatial strategies and allow city regions to use their devolved planning powers;
- empower the planning profession to ensure that the UK leads on delivering climate and environmental action locally;
- uphold the right of communities to have a say in local development including codes and plans.
Meanwhile, new attorney general Suella Braverman will decide whether evidence from witnesses in the Grenfell Inquiry should be used in future prosecutions.
Other key changes include Alok Sharma, who has replaced Andrea Leadsom as business secretary, George Eustice who succeeds Theresa Villiers as environment secretary, while former chief secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak has replaced Javid.
Alok Sharma - COP 26 minister and business secretary (replaces Andrea Leadsom)
Anne-Marie Trevelyan - International development secretary (replaces Alok Sharma)
Rishi Sunak - Chancellor of the Exchequer (replaces Sajid Javid)
Stephen Barclay - will attend cabinet as chief secretary to the treasury (replaces Rishi Sunak)
Christopher Pincher - Housing minister (replaces Esther McVey)
Oliver Dowden - Culture secretary (replaces Nicky Morgan)
Suella Braverman - will attend cabinet as Attorney General (replaces Geoffrey Cox)
George Eustice - Environment secretary (replaces Theresa Villiers)
Brandon Lewis - Secretary for Northern Ireland (replaces Julian Smith)
Robert Buckland - Justice secretary (incumbent)
Priti Patel - Home Secretary (incumbent)
Michael Gove - Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and minister for the Cabinet Office (incumbent)
Dominic Raab - Foreign secretary (incumbent)
Matt Hancock - Health secretary (incumbent)
Liz Truss - International trade secretary (incumbent)
Robert Jenrick - Housing secretary (incumbent)
Gavin WIlliamson - Education secretary (incumbent)
Grant Schapps - Transport secretary (incumbent)
Andrew Stephenson - Transport minister (replaces George Freeman)
Ben Wallace - Defence secretary (incumbent)
Alister Jack - Scottish secretary (incumbent)
Simon Hart - Secretary for Wales (incumbent)
Jacob Rees-Mogg - will attend cabinet as leader of the House of Common (incumbent)
Mark Spencer - will attend cabinet as (chief whip)
Amanda Milling - Minister without portfolio, and a member of the cabinet