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Esther McVey sacked as housing minister in cabinet reshuffle

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  • 13/02/2020
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Esther McVey sacked as housing minister in cabinet reshuffle
Esther McVey MP has been sacked from her role as housing minister after just seven months.

 

McVey was appointed in July 2019 and is the ninth minister to hold the role since 2010 – none of which have held the post for more than two years. 

Her replacement – who is yet to be announced – will be the tenth Conservative housing minister in as many years. 

McVey tweeted: “I’m very sorry to be relieved of my duties as Housing Minister. I wish my successor the very best and every success.  

“I’m very grateful to the Prime Minister for having given me the opportunity to serve in his government and he will continue to have my support from the back benches.” 

During her tenure, McVey has overseen changes including amendments to Help to Buy rules which make it easier for borrowers to take out mortgages with a term of more than 25 years. 

In October she pledged to “bring about a digital revolution in the property sector”, proposing the introduction of technologies which would help prospective homebuyers use commute time calculator, explore financing options and receive assistance in the homebuying process. 

Most recently, McVey announced the government would be reviewing its permissions in order to allow it to demolish commercial buildings and replace them with residential properties. 

 

Lack of stability

John Phillips, national operations director at Just Mortgages, said: “Housing policy requires a clear sense of direction, and that has been sadly lacking in recent years as the ministerial revolving door has spun at a furious pace.

“Now that there is a government with a stable majority, I hope the new housing minister stays in place long enough to take on some of the long-term issues that have held the housing market back. It’s been easy to blame Brexit uncertainty over the last few years but the problems are more deep-seated than that.

“There needs to be concerted action across government to boost supply and make better use of existing stock so that everybody can live somewhere that is right for their needs.”

Nick Sanderson, CEO of retirement property developer, Audley Group, said the government needed to act now to “change the narrative on housing”

He added: “It’s now 10 in 10 for Housing Ministers. 10 changes in 10 years, and 19 in 20. Hardly surprising that short termism remains the order of the day.

“A lack of understanding of the real issues continues to lead to sticking plaster policies like building more houses. If a change does need to be made, it should be meaningful: bringing together housing, health and social care under one banner would be a genuinely radical shift towards solving issues at their root.”

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