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Housing secretary Robert Jenrick is latest casualty of Johnson reshuffle

MP for Newark is one of the more surprising departures from the cabinet following the PM's brutal reorganisation of his government.

Nigel Lewis

robert jenrick evictions

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick has lost his place in the cabinet during today’s brutal cabinet reshuffle by Boris Johnson. A replacement has yet to be announced.

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 and has been a loyal supporter of the Prime Minister,  an active foot soldier in the government’s ‘culture wars’ but also a contentious figure.

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.

Scandals

But the scandals surrounding his controversial drive to see his parents during the initial hard lockdown, his relationship with former press baron Richard Desmond and subsequent approval of a controversial housing development in East London all meant Jenrick often courted negative publicity. He has also been criticised for his handling of the leasehold and building safety scandals.

Others who have lost out in the reshuffle include Dominic Raab, who was savaged by critics over his handling of the UK’s official withdrawal from Afghanistan plus health minister Gavin Williamson and justice secretary Robert Buckland.

Buckland oversaw the sometimes chaotic 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.

September 15, 2021

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