Robert Jenrick has lost his job as housing minister in today’s cabinet reshuffle by Boris Johnson and is to be replaced by Michael Gove.
Jenrick, who is MP for Newark, has been Secretary of State for Housing at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government since July 2019.
He has been both a loyal foot soldier for the Prime Minister but also a contentious figure both inside and outside of the housing market he oversaw.
On hearing of his removal, he said on Twitter: “It’s been a huge privilege to serve as Secretary of State.
“Thank you to everyone at the department for their hard work, dedication and friendship. I’m deeply proud of all we achieved.
“I will continue to support the Prime Minister and the Government in every way I can.”
Jenrick’s departure had not been expected, and only a few days ago he attended the opening of his ministry’s new HQ in Wolverhampton.
But the scandals surrounding his controversial drive to see his parents during the initial lockdown, and his relationship with former press baron Richard Desmond and approval of a controversial housing development in East London, meant Jenrick often courted negative publicity.
Jenrick is to be replaced by Michael Gove (pictured, main image), the now former Cabinet Secretary, and key Brexiteer.
Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (pictured) says: “We welcome Michael Gove to his new position and look forward to working with him to ensure the rental market works for responsible landlords and tenants alike.
“Key to this will be addressing the supply crisis in the sector by developing pro-growth policies that recognise the vital contribution it makes to housing millions of people across the country.”
Propertymark CEO Nathan Emerson, comments: “We welcome today’s appointment of Michael Gove as the new Secretary of State for Housing. “Over the past 18 months housing has been high on the political agenda, with the long term Covid-19 inflicted stamp duty holiday and evictions ban due to close at the end of the month.
“We look forward to meeting the new Secretary of State and his team over the coming months and hope the Department’s position and policy focus stays on track.”
Raabed of a job
Others who have lost out in the reshuffle include Dominic Raab, who was ravaged by critics over his handling of the UK’s withdrawal from Afghanistan but will now run the justice ministry; health minister Gavin Williamson and justice secretary Robert Buckland.
Buckland oversaw the often last-minute implementation of the various changes to the evictions rules during the worst months of the pandemic, so his departure is not a surprise to many industry watchers.