Could Brexit backlash mean yet another new Housing Minister?

Could Brexit backlash mean yet another new Housing Minister?

Could Theresa May’s decision to call a snap General Election leave the property sector facing a sixth new housing minister in seven years?

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn launched the party’s General Election Campaign from Croydon, where current Housing Minister Gavin Barwell MP is defending a majority of just 165.

Mr Barwell’s Croydon Constituency voted comfortably to remain in last year’s referendum, with 92,913 residents voting not to leave the European Union – a majority of almost 15,000.

If just 83 remain voters who voted Conservative last time change their vote in protest at Brexit, or 166 of the 1152 residents who voted Liberal Democrat in 2015 switch to Labour, Croydon could have a new MP on June 9 – meaning a sixth new Housing Minister in almost as many years.

Mr Barwell’s narrow victory in the 2015 General Election prompted him to publish a book entitled “My Year Fighting for My Political Life”.

Mark Prisk, Grant Shapps, Kelvin Hopkins and Brandon Lewis have all also acted as Housing Minister since the Conservatives took office in 2010.


Property expert, Ajay Jagota, responded to the Prime Minister’s announcement: “It’s no coincidence that Jeremy Corbyn launched his election campaign in Gavin Barwell’s constituency – Labour genuinely think they can win there.

It might sound outlandish given their current polling but even if Labour does perform as poorly as predicted on June 8 it doesn’t mean they won’t have the odd result worth celebrating on the night - and as it will only take 83 remain voters who voted Conservative last time to switch their votes in protest at Brexit to oust Gavin Barwell, Croydon Central is a likely a place as anywhere for that result to happen.    

Even if Gavin Barwell is returned to parliament it doesn’t mean he won’t be promoted, demoted or moved to another department in a post-election reshuffle as Housing Ministers tend to last about as long as Sunderland managers.

It has to be said that this lack of continuity is pretty unhelpful for the property sector. With the Housing White Paper recently published and the letting agent ban consultation widened to include deposit reform, what we really need at the moment is certainty, clarity and continuity.

If there is a change, it would make the most sense for Housing Minister to once again become a full cabinet role, reflecting the fundamental importance of housing to each and every voter in the UK, or for the new minister to be someone like Kevin Hollinrake, who has relevant credentials for the job.

Whatever happens it doesn’t mean the industry can kid itself that this is the end of unpopular policies like the letting agent ban – if anything I’d expect to see that in the Conservative manifesto.”

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Latest Comments

Oliver Conway
Oliver Conway 18 May 2017

Making a neat inventory is a good idea, but if the seller is not willing to provide it, can the buyer demand it?

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Bertrand
Bertrand 17 May 2017

First step to nationalisation of the private rented sector IMHO. Nanny state poking their noses into things yet again. I object, as a decent landlord, sometimes having to deal with some pretty awful tenants,...

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Izzy
Izzy 16 May 2017

This is such a great a post. I love the detail you've gone into. It's a very useful article for helping those who are looking at deciding which sector they would like to go into! When I first started investing...

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paul burnham
paul burnham 30 Apr 2017

Jeremy Corbyn's pledge that a Labour government would build 500,000 new council houses must electrify the general election campaign. Reliance on markets and the profit motive has brought huge housing-related...

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CommercialTrust
CommercialTrust 28 Apr 2017

Sadiq Khan?s announcement of an online database of landlords and letting agents who have been convicted of housing offences, appears on face value to be a variation of the already implemented Database

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warren
warren 26 Apr 2017

You're very welcome Mary! Glad you enjoyed them :)

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Mary Ward
Mary Ward 26 Apr 2017

Thank you for the wonderful ideas. First impressions can make or break a deal. It's sadly that many homeowners drop the kerb to create an off-street parking space.

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Tony Gimple
Tony Gimple 14 Apr 2017

I'm not at all surprised that so many landlords are still confused about what the tax changes really mean and how it will affect them. In particular, the blind rush to incorporation is leaving landlords...

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MH
MH 13 Apr 2017

You are right that the bank holidays are going to be spoiled in looking for the properties. But people who want to sell their property and looking for the better relocation, they can get benefits of this...

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bnellyb
bnellyb 08 Apr 2017

There will be an exodus of private landlords over the next 5 years as tax changes take effect, private landlords provide an important service to the rental market, why do housing associations and councils...

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Fred Cassman
Fred Cassman 07 Apr 2017

"Make it look like you are at home": often people forget this and share on facebook their location!

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jared townsend
jared townsend 05 Apr 2017

It'll be interesting to see how & if the Government's asset sale regarding mortgages helps

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