Lee Rowley has been appointed as housing minister in the latest cabinet reshuffle by prime minister Rishi Sunak.
Rowley takes on the role for the second time, becoming the 16th housing minister since the Conservative party rose to power in 2010.
His stint in housing lasted around seven weeks during the brief premiership of former PM Liz Truss in 2022. He also served as construction minister under Boris Johnson, although he resigned from the role as part of the wave of resignations that led to Johnson’s downfall.
Rowley replaces Rachel Maclean, who was sacked by Sunak yesterday after just over nine months on the job.
The Federation of Master Builders (FMB), the largest trade association in the UK building industry, welcomed Rowley’s reappointment.
FMB chief executive, Brian Berry, said: “The reappointment of Lee Rowley MP as the new housing minister means he should be able to hit the ground running to tackle the growing housing crisis. With housing output set to be at an all-time low, the new minister will need to focus on the barriers stopping new homes from being built. Rowley needs to build on the work of his predecessor Rachel Maclean, who was a strong advocate for SME housebuilders.”
However, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) expressed its consternation at the high turnover of this important government role.
“It’s incredibly frustrating to see another housing minister ousted after just 10 months in the job – the 16th in 13 years,” said RIBA president Muyiwa Oki.
“The government has to get a grip on this housing crisis – it demands urgent action. We need continuity, the development of a strategic plan and certainty to ensure homes and places are planned, designed and built to meet the needs of current and future communities.
“Architects stand ready to help create high-quality, connected, inclusive and accessible, vibrant places where people want to live.”
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