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'Outspoken' Hodge back as architecture minister

Margaret Hodge is to return to her role as architecture minister, replacing Barbara Follett

Hodge, who famously turned down the Smithson’s Robin Hood Gardens in East London for listing last year, is back at the DCMS after a year away from the office on compassionate leave.

The Minister for Culture and Tourism stepped down to look after her seriously ill husband until his death in June this year.

Meanwhile Follett, the MP for Stevenage who took over the reins in October 2008, has moved on to the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The returning Hodge has been a controversial figure in the architecture world and an ‘outspoken opponent’ of modernist buildings.

Catherine Croft, director of the Twentieth Century Society, said: ‘Neither minister has been particularly well-disposed towards twentieth century buildings. However, this will be a fresh start for Hodge.

‘From a personal point of view she has had a really awful time. But hopefully she will take a more enlightened view of post-war buildings now she has returned.’

The society is intending to meet with the DCMS on Thursday (24 September) to discuss a number of issues including the spate of ministerial listing decisions on modernist and brutalist buildings, which have overturned expert advice.

Readers' comments (2)

  • This is not good news really. She did not endear herself to many last time, it wasn't only 20th century buildings which were the problem it was her ignorance of so much connected with her role. Someone fresh would have been better.

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  • Where would architecture currently be if people in the past hadn't put up modern buildings completely at odds with their surroundings. Did Inigo Jones have problems?

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