Another new housing minister

Dominic Raab’s promotion to replace David Davis as Brexit Secretary means a new housing minister – the eighth minister in as many years. The last three have each served for less than a year.

BREAKING: Kit Malthouse is the new Housing Minister.

Kit Malthouse was born in Liverpool, and trained as a chartered accountant. After a management buyout he ended up running County Finance Group. His entry into politics was via Westminster City Council, where he became cabinet member for finance and deputy leader under Simon Milton; he then moved to the London Assembly where he was deputy mayor for policing in Boris Johnson’s first term. While serving on the assembly Malthouse was also finance director for hedge fund company Alpha Strategic, set up with Milton’s successor Colin Barrow.

Malthouse was demoted in 2012, and was then selected for the safe Conservative seat of North West Hampshire – succeeding former housing minister Sir George Young. He became an MP at the age of 49, and voted Leave in the referendum, but he backed Theresa May (not Boris Johnson) in the leadership election that followed. He joined the government in January 2018 as a junior Work and Pensions minister.

Few MPs are housing specialists and most see the issues through constituency concerns; Peter Apps of Inside Housing made a point by tweeting, before knowing who would get the job, that the new minister has “no previous interest in the sector … has frequently campaigned against green belt developments in their constituency”.

Theresa May has often said tackling the housing crisis is her “number one domestic priority” – and that claim has been backed up by her new Housing Secretary James Brokenshire, whose predecessor emphasised the importance by taking the housing prefix. The new minister must get up to speed very quickly to agree the revised National Planning Policy Framework, and deal with the Grenfell aftermath including the ban on combustible materials in cladding. Will the new housing minister combine longevity and good judgment?

Here’s a list of the MPs who have held the role since 2010:
1. Dominic Raab (now Brexit Secretary)
2. Alok Sharma (now Employment Secretary)
3. Gavin Barwell (now adviser to the PM)
4. Brandon Lewis (now Conservative Party Chairman)
5. Kris Hopkins (lost his seat)
6. Mark Prisk (backbench MP)
7. Grant Shapps (backbench MP)

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