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Take 2: Government now decides to keep former housing minister after all

If the first few hours of the new government’s approach to housing are anything to go by, it could be a confusing five years ahead. That’s because contrary to an announcement on Monday, the new housing minister is...the old housing minister.

Late on Monday afternoon Number 10 issued a statement saying that Mark Francois had been appointed as the new housing minister, working to Greg Clark, the new Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

The announcement raised some eyebrows as Francois, the Conservative MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, was relatively unknown despite having served as minister of state for the armed forces in the old coalition government. His pre-parliament background in banking and lobbying did not lend any obvious suggestion that he had a strong interest in housing.

Even so, organisations like the Residential Landlords Association sent congratulatory messages to Francois and his appointment had been reported in a range of industry outlets, including LT and EAT, and mainstream publications.

However, rumours began to circulate this morning on social media that the former housing minister at the end of the coalition government, Brandon Lewis, had in fact retained the position.

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