Housing minister Dominic Raab is the latest short-lived incumbent in the role at the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government after he today replaced David Davis as Brexit secretary.
Raab, who joined the DHCLG barely seven months ago in January this year, is a prominent and combative Brexiteer unafraid to criticise those who displease him in public.
He is also a contentious but pragmatic choice for Theresa May. Michael Gove (left), who is another key Brexiteer within the Conservative party, had been tipped to replace Davis.
44-year-old Raab’s most memorable contributions to the housing sector have been a few speeches and a claim earlier this year that immigration has helped increase house prices by 20% over the past 25 years, a claim his own ministry later distanced itself from.
Raab’s remit at the DHCLG was a wide one, but a lot of his effort and time has been spent concentrating on managing the Grenfell Tower recovery programme and reforming the social housing sector.
His opening remarks at last week’s Chartered Institute of Housing conference in London began with a joke that now seems prophetic, if not altogether not amusing for estate agents weary of the housing minister revolving door.
“We seem to get through ministers almost as quickly as England get through football managers, although the current one is not doing too badly,” he quipped.
No doubt civil servants were hoping that Raab was going to stick around – his boss Sajid Javid only left ten weeks ago to take up the reins as Home Secretary.
“Housing has become the poor relation in British politics, a ministerial post that should have a well-oiled revolving door attached to the position,” says Russell Quirk, CEO of Emoov (below).
“We are in the midst of a housing crisis – a deficit of 100,000 new homes each year and acute unaffordability, whereby first-time buyers will soon celebrate their 40th birthday before being able to buy a home.
“We need consistency in the Government where the housing brief is concerned and it must be a proper cabinet position, not a junior role relegated to the corridors of Whitehall.”