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New Housing Secretary announced as Johnson begins caretaker role

Greg Clark is the new Housing Secretary, with responsibilities including steering the Renters' Reform Bill through parliament.

He is part of a new Cabinet named by outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a bid to show he can form a working caretaker government which can function until a new Conservative leader is elected in the early autumn.

Clark, 54, is Tory MP for Tunbridge Wells and has previously served as a junior minister of state in the Housing and Communities department during the Conservative-LibDem coalition before becoming Secretary of State at the same department in 2015. He has also served as Financial Secretary to the Treasury.


Yesterday Johnson sacked the previous Housing Secretary Michael Gove (with an official statement calling him “a snake”) while a slew of junior ministers in the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities quit in opposition to the Prime Minister.

Gove was a senior and long-standing figure in the Conservative Party and had served in a strong of high-level posts including Education Secretary, Chief Whip, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Justice Secretary and Environment Secretary, as well as most recently Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Just last month Gove led on the introduction of the controversial White Paper called A Fairer Private Rental Sector, which is widely seen as representing a shift of power from landlords to tenants. There may still be uncertainty over the future progress of the White Paper recommendations and the accompanying Rental Reform Bill, especially if - as expected - a new Prime Minister is eventually elected by the Conservatives over the course of the summer.  

Before Gove’s sacking, housing minister Stuart Andrew became the 11th housing minister to leave the post in just 10 years. He quit as one of the almost-50 ministers resigning from the government yesterday over the integrity of Prime Minister.

Junior housing minister Andrew - who was appointed to replace the now-infamous Chris Pincher - was in office for just 148 days. He says in his resignation letter: "Loyalty and unity are traits that I have always endeavoured to provide for our great party. However, I fear I have let these override my judgement recently. There comes a time when you have to look at your own personal integrity and that time is now."

Another minister at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities - Kemi Badenoch - quit yesterday for similar reasons. 

The only minister left at the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities prior to Clark's appointment was Eddie Hughes.

Hughes - officially the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Housing and Rough Sleeping - was appointed by Johnson in January 2021 and has been a pro-Brexit pro-Johnson loyalist, saying he backed the Prime Minister in last month’s confidence vote. He was seen sitting close to Johnson during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday lunchtime. 

It is not yet known whether Hughes will remain as housing minister with Clark in charge of the department.

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    OMG what an absolute farce this Govt is!

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    I wish Gove, Eddie Hughes, Bojo and the rest of them would unravel and be cast into the wilderness where they can do no more damage. We need a real conservative government.


    They are destroying each other!


    Completely agree. I thought when they elected Bojo as leader, is this really the best you can come up with? And as for Gove. Makes me feel sick.

  • James B

    The housing minister merry go round goes on 🙄
    Each one looking to make their mark by bashing landlords that bit harder


    How I wish I could say you are wrong :-(

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    Well at least the total disarray might slow up the demise of the PRS. Which would be a good thing for tenants as well as landlords.

  • Richard Law

    Please, please don’t resign Boris Johnson 🙏🏼 I’ve never laughed so much at the Ten o’clock news and Newsnight. I’ll be forced to watch The Inbetweeners or Arrested Development for laughter. Thank you Black Night.

  • George Dawes

    Rats deserting the sinking ship of democracy

    They've done their job , now wef will step in to 'save' the day

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    I never thought it could get any worse 😬, Gen Rent and the other zealots will be fuming 😂. Boris is acting like Hitler in the dying days of the war, held up in the bunker with his government falling apart around him, not listening to all the advice….. let’s hope there is not an Alsatian called “Blondi” in No.10 🤔🤔 then the similarity is very worrisome. He needs to go now.

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    Good job the Tory party doesn't need the 'protection' of housing legislation to evict Boris.
    Even with a section 21, Section 8...., if Boris plays his cards right and uses/abuses the system,....he should be able to extend his stay in number 10 without penalty for..... eeermmmm.........another year!!!

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    Maybe he wants a lifetime Tenancy like trying to get rid of Section 21 and collapse the economy. 50 gone no need to replace them doing a non job braying like donkeys at each other, what a way to behave in Parliament. Big agenda to make more rules & laws what for ?. They never stop making laws at what point do they think we have enough or was that years ago. Good riddance to Mr Gove he doesn’t know the meaning of fairness and him a former Justice Secretary. Its not levelling up anything it’s a malicious meddling to destroy
    Private Sector Housing that house millions, it seems to me we are just tax collectors contributing billions to the Treasury and they want rid of us, their loss I don’t know why we bother.

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    Talk about history repeating! Tories have imploded yet again. Boris has to go, not sure if that is good or bad. I will hold judgement until I know whom replaces him.
    Fortunately, there is a Kinnockesque leader in the other party so this will not be a concern for the tories. Shame really.
    The only winners in this sham will be the media....we may even get an opinion or 2 from them with their army of experts!!

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    They should put their own house in order before interfering with other people's houses

  • Matthew Payne

    Kicks the Renters Reform Bill into the long grass for a while. Again.

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    And the big revolving door turns yet again, next please


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