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Revolving door sees the 16th minister for housing since 2010 appointed as Lee Rowley is given the job


Another new housing minister was appointed last night – the 16th to hold the job since 2010.

Lee Rowley, who had been local government minister, returned to the post he briefly held under Liz Truss last autumn.

The Oxford-educated 43-year-old MP for North East Derbyshire is believed to have accepted the job after a scramble to find someone who wanted it. Cabinet Office minister Jeremy Quin is understood to have quit the Government rather than accept the demotion.

And there was surprise and anger that previous housing minister Rachel Maclean was sacked just before she was due to take the long-delayed Renters Reform Bill – which will abolish no-fault evictions – through scrutiny in the Commons.

She wrote on social media: ‘I’ve been asked to step down as housing minister. Disappointed and was looking forward to introducing the Renters Reform Bill to committee tomorrow and later the Leasehold and Freehold Bill. I wish my successor well.’

Lee Rowley (pictured), who had been local government minister, returned to the post he briefly held under Liz Truss last autumn

Lee Rowley (pictured), who had been local government minister, returned to the post he briefly held under Liz Truss last autumn

There has been surprise and anger that previous housing minister Rachel Maclean was sacked, having only been in the job since February

There has been surprise and anger that previous housing minister Rachel Maclean was sacked, having only been in the job since February 

Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch spoke out against her sacking, saying: ‘Very sorry to see you leave government. You were an excellent, minister.’

Ms Maclean had held the position since February.

Previously, Lucy Frazer spent just 91 days in the role before being promoted to Culture Secretary.

She in turn was preceded by Mr Rowley in his first stint in the job, which lasted 50 days. Before him, Marcus Jones departed after serving for 62 days during the Tory leadership contest in 2022.

Stuart Andrew held the role from February 2022 until July that year when he resigned from Boris Johnson’s government.

Before him, Chris Pincher served for two years. Previous holders of the job were Esther McVey in the first six months of Mr Johnson’s administration; Kit Malthouse, Dominic Raab, Alok Sharma and Gavin Barwell under Theresa May; and Brandon Lewis, Kris Hopkins, Mark Prisk and Grant Shapps under the coalition.

Renters’ Reform Coalition (RRC) campaign manager Tom Darling said: ‘It is shambolic that we will now be on to our 16th housing minister since 2010, and nine since the Government promised to end no-fault evictions.

‘Now, just before the first day of the important committee stage, she is sacked – it makes a mockery of government and shows a shocking lack of respect for England’s 11 million private renters.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, said: ‘It is disappointing that with all indicators signalling a drop in supply amidst an already acute housing crisis and some clear policy direction needed, the revolving door of housing ministers spins yet again.

‘On the positive side, Lee Rowley already has experience in the housing sector.’

Labour’s housing spokesman Matthew Pennycock said: ‘I wish Rachel Maclean well but her sacking illustrates this government’s indifferent attitude to housing and planning. We need certainty to get Britain building again.’

However, Downing Street insisted that the revolving door would not detract from the target of 300,000 new properties each year.

Mr Sunak’s spokesman said: ‘The PM needs to make a decision in the round about who fits best.’



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