Reacting to the news that the Rt Hon Esther McVey MP has been appointed as the new Minister for Housing, John Newcomb, Chief Executive of the Builders Merchants’ Federation, said “I congratulate Esther McVey on taking up her new role at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in succession to Kit Malthouse MP who we thank for his energy and enthusiasm to build ‘More, Better and Faster’ homes”.
“Ester’s appointment may add to critics keen to trot out the line that we have seen 10 Tory Housing Ministers in 9 years. But it ignores the fact she is an experienced minister and comes to the job with first-hand knowledge of construction from before she was first elected to Parliament”.
Newcomb pointed to the make-up of the new Government, noting there are two ministers at the Cabinet table with responsibility for housing: McVey and her Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick MP. He continued, “In addition, there are four former Housing Ministers in the Cabinet – namely Dominic Raab, Alok Sharma, Brandon Lewis and Grant Shapps – and one former Secretary of State, Sajid Javid. And if you add Boris Johnson’s experience of housing and planning policy when he was London Mayor, this could be the most pro-housing Cabinet the BMF has seen its entire 111-year history”.
“The Conservatives have set a target of 300,000 new build homes a year by the mid-2020s. If this is to be achieved, the BMF wants long-lasting stability and unflinching determination by Boris Johnson and his ministers to act to narrow the gap between housing demand and supply”.
Newcomb said events currently going on around the country to mark the centenary of council housing show the continuing need for homes of all types and tenures at prices people can afford.