New housing minister Esther McVey is to attend cabinet, the first one to do so for many years.
The former GMTV presenter is the ninth housing minister since the Conservatives took power in 2010 but is the first to be given access to cabinet meetings, a potential sign that Boris Johnson may be about to put house building higher up the political agenda in the coming months.
The industry has been calling for housing ministers to attend cabinet for many years, often complaining that a lack of cabinet position showed the government did not take housing seriously.
McVey is one of ten ministers who will attend cabinet but who are not full members, alongside Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg and Home Office minister and former housing minister Brandon Lewis.
McVey, who is MP for Tatton in Liverpool, has been busy on Twitter since being appointed last week, including making several videos for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government plugging her ‘key mission’ to get ‘Britain building’ again and ‘boost home ownership across the country’.
One of them, made on her first day as housing minister and which has been watched 35,500 times so far, included claims that her department would build more homes for first time buyers and, oddly, ‘those who may be divorced’.
Help to Buy
At the same time her boss, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, has revealed that he may consider extending Help to Buy past its 2023 end date when asked about it by The Times.
“This is a new administration, a new chancellor, I think all options are on the table. I intend to have further discussions with Sajid Javid in the weeks and months to come,” he said.