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Robert Jenrick and Esther McVey land housing brief in Johnson’s new cabinet

Robert jenrick and esther mcvey collage

Robert Jenrick and Esther McVey have replaced James Brokenshire and Kit Malthouse as housing ministers in a major Cabinet clear-out by new prime minister Boris Johnson

Jenrick, who has been working in the Treasury over the past year, will head the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government after Brokenshire was sacked yesterday evening.

The MP for Newark tweeted he was ‘excited and honored’ at his first cabinet role and that he looked forward to building more homes, planned to level up the regions and ‘share prosperity and opportunity throughout the U.K’

The 37-year-old also said it was ‘about time there was a millennial in cabinet’.

Brokenshire, who has spent more than a year as housing secretary, tweeted he was ‘heading to the backbenches’ after nine years in government.

Housing minister Kit Malthouse, who had made a bid for Tory leader before dropping out of the race, was not spared the reshuffle either and was replaced by former pensions secretary Esther McVey, who will work under Jenrick. She become the ninth housing minister in nine years

McVey, the MP for Tatton, is a former TV presenter and spent a number of years co-hosting ITV morning programme GMTV.

Brokenshire and Malthouse will perhaps best be remembered by the profession as the architects of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission.

Around the time of the commission’s launch, Malthouse came in for particular criticism for a tweet comparing two buildings – a classical courthouse in Alabama and an office scheme on Oxford Street, with the caption ‘one will last for centuries, one won’t’. 

In the wake of the row, he told architects to stop being ‘defensive’ and start designing buildings that fulfil the ‘natural aspiration of the British people’. 

Elsewhere in prime minister Johnson’s reshuffle, former housing minister Dominic Raab has become Foreign Secretary and first secretary of state.  


Ben Derbyshire, RIBA president
We are encouraged that the new Secretary of State for Housing, Jenrick, and new Minister for Housing, McVey, take seats at the cabinet table for the first time indicating, rightly, that housing will be a priority. We are seriously concerned about the quality of some of the housing being built across the country, and urge the new government to review current Permitted Development Rights as a matter of urgency.

We urge the new government to review current Permitted Development Rights as a matter of urgency

As the mercury boils across the UK, the new Secretary of State for Environment and Rural Affairs Theresa Villiers clearly has a huge task on her hands. The global climate emergency must be confronted with real and urgent action - warm words are not enough.

With less than 100 days to go until the UK leaves the EU, Brexit is a key priority. No deal would be disastrous for UK construction and our world leading architecture sector because our success relies on being open to the world. We will be engaging with the new government to stress our profession’s concerns.

These are challenging and turbulent times. The new Government must now pull together to deliver meaningful change.


Readers' comments (4)

  • Esther McVey is a morally corrupt vile human being (look at her voting record and her comments on the disabled community). The less she has to do with this profession the better.

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  • Mmmmhhh...just one of many disastrous appointments to the Executive this week. I would say roll on the general election, if that would improve anything. The only hope we have now is that power can check power in the form of the judiciary and the legislature. Bring a judicial review to stop this madness if you have the means, it worked when May tried to crown herself Queen Theresa with the royal prerogative.

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  • A promos the 'bigger picture', I wonder how much the ARB is going to spend on legal advice on what to do in the event that the UK disintegrates?

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  • Despite spellcheck's anti-European prejudice (and this website's inability to allow corrections) it should have read 'A propos....'

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