Former estate agent named as new housing minister ahead of government plans to cut stamp duty

Lee Rowley
Lee Rowley

The rapid turnover in housing ministers continued last night with Lee Rowley, MP for North East Derbyshire, replacing Marcus Jones who lasted just 62 days in the role.

Rowley, 42, is the 13th Tory housing minister in the past 12 years. He became an MP in 2014, having previously served for eight years as a councillor at Westminster City Council.

He spent 16 months as deputy chair of the Conservative Party before being made a junior minister at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and a government whip last year. His brief at BEIS included construction.

He resigned his ministerial position in July along with a number of other Tory MPs in the rebellion against Boris Johnson, forcing the now former prime minister to resign.

He will report to new housing secretary Simon Clarke who was appointed earlier this month as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, as part of Liz Truss’s new cabinet.

Rowley, from Chesterfield, started his career as an estate agent, before becoming a banker – fulfilling a number of finance and consultancy roles at Barclays, Santander, KPMG and Co-op Insurance.

Meanwhile, prime minister Liz Truss is expected to announce major plans to cut stamp duty in the government’s mini-budget this week in an attempt to stimulate activity in the housing market and boost economic growth.

According to The Times, Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng, the chancellor, have been working on the plans for more than a month and will announce them on Friday.

Truss believes that cutting stamp duty will encourage economic growth by allowing more people to move and enabling first-time buyers to get on the property ladder.

Two Whitehall sources said that cuts to stamp duty were the “rabbit” in the mini-budget, which the government is billing as a “growth plan”. The fiscal statement will also include plans to reverse the national insurance rise and freeze corporation tax, two measures that will cost


New chancellor to unveil ‘emergency budget’ next week


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  1. jeremy1960

    Yes, but does he have the common sense to scrap the white paper and listen to the industry and landlords?

    1. A W

      I think I can answer this for you: “hahahhahahahahahhaha…. no”

  2. LVW4

    Push ahead now with phase 2 of the leasehold reforms, enabling millions to be released from the  constraints of ground rents, which are preventing leaseholders from selling because buyers can’t obtain mortgages. This would deliver a tremendous stimulus to the housing market, and be a big vote winner.

  3. Retiredandrelaxed

    Whilst any agency experience is to be welcomed in the holder of this poition, I don’t think Mr Rowley thinks much of it, judging by the fact that he doesn’t mention it at all on his Linkedin page nor on his website.

    From the info on his Linkedin page, it’s not clear how long he could have worked in agency as his education record shows him doing an MA at Manchester (2002 – 2003) and then working as an Energy Analyst at Clarksons in May 2004. 12 months in agency at most, although he might have worked part time while doing his MA.

    Ah well, better than most past Housing Ministers, I suppose

  4. CountryLass

    Exactly, I’m not sure some of them had ever set foot in an estate agents office before… They certainly acted like they hadn’t got a clue!

  5. The_Maluka

    Knowing the reputation of Estate agents I am not sure whether to laugh or cry.

    1. Retiredandrelaxed

      I am sure that you realise that, as in any industry, there are some bottom feeders who disgrace their industry but many who go above and beyond to try to ensure the best result for their clients/customers and who provide a good (or better) service

      1. The_Maluka

        I think you totally missed the irony of my response.

        1. Retiredandrelaxed

          Quite likely – thanks for clarifying 🙂


  6. PropertyRecruiter06

    I still don’t understand why Kevin Hollinrake isn’t in this post????  More than qualified…


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