Last week saw a cabinet reshuffle with some significant changes for the departments that relate to the construction industry. Significantly, the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has been overhauled, with the appointment of a new Secretary of State and two ‘levelling up’ ministers, this demonstrates the prioritisation of housing delivery and planning reforms.
Key movements for the built environment sector are:
- Michael Gove has been appointed Secretary of State for Housing. Gove is the former Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Cabinet Office Minister, and replaces Robert Jenrick in the role. He will hold overall responsibility for the MHCLG and his priorities will include building safety, housing, levelling up and the devolved nations. He will also be responsible for overseeing the Government’s controversial reforms to the planning system. He has previously spoken about the need for higher housebuilding targets, and in favour of the Government’s net zero commitments.
- Kemi Badenoch has replaced Luke Hall as Housing, Communities and Local Government Minister within the MHCLG, where she will assist Michael Gove with his levelling up portfolio and have responsibility for local government.
- Neil O’Brien has been appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at MHCLG, where he will assist with the levelling up agenda. O’Brien is currently helping to draft the Government’s anticipated Levelling Up White Paper. He previously helped to draft the Northern Powerhouse Strategy as a former advisor to then-Chancellor George Osborne.
- Greg Hands has replaced Anne-Marie Trevelyan as the Minister for Energy and Clean Growth within the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). His portfolio includes carbon budgets, green finance, construction, low carbon generation and energy supply and security.
- Stephen Barclay has replaced Michael Gove as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Cabinet Office Minister. He holds overall responsibility for the Cabinet Office, including public sector management, national security and resilience and devolution issues.
- Simon Clarke has been appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury and will be responsible for public expenditure, including Spending Reviews.
- Trudy Harrison has been appointed as Transport Minister, where her portfolio includes transport decarbonisation, future of transport and international.