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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