Jenrick sacked as Housing Secretary, as Gove moves to MHCLG

Robert Jenrick has lost his job at the Housing Ministry as part a major cabinet reshuffle, replaced by Michael Gove after failing to deal with the backlash from building safety reforms post Grenfell.   

Rumours floated by the Daily Telegraph during the reshuffle of a ‘Gove-shaped’ hole in the Ministry proved correct, as the Prime Minister promoted the former cabinet minister Michael Gove to head to MHCLG. Gove keeps his Union portfolio, as well as being ‘in charge of levelling up.’

Right in the middle of shepherding the Building Safety Bill through parliament, Jenrick’s departure comes after months of high-profile protests about the financial ruin faced by leaseholders, and ahead of the Leaseholders Together rally outside Parliament on 16 September.

Responding to the news of his departure, Mr Jenrick said on Twitter:

“It’s been a huge privilege to serve as Secretary of State @mhclg. Thank you to everyone at the department for their hard work, dedication and friendship. I’m deeply proud of all we achieved. I will continue to support the Prime Minister and the government in every way I can.”

The appointment means that the Ministry will have had five different secretaries of state in five years. The Ministry lacks the stability and focus to deal with the huge issues it faces, not only for building safety, but in meeting the government’s housebuilding targets.

Jenrick was responsible for securing of £5.1 billion of government cash to deal with problems in buildings over 18 metres. According to the Housing Select Committee, however, the costs are closer to £15 billion.

He had been in the role since July 2019, taking over from James Brokenshire, who stepped down for health reasons. Responding to the reshuffle, a government spokesperson said:

“Robert Jenrick has led crucial work over the last two years, most importantly driving reforms to build more houses so home ownership becomes a reality for many more people. The Prime Minister is grateful for his drive and commitment.”  

Photo credit: MHCLG Flickr