Property industry reacts to ‘revolving door of housing ministers’ in wake of Rachel Maclean’s sacking

Rachel Maclean

The property industry has responded to the announcement that prime minister Rishi Sunak has this afternoon asked Rachel Maclean to resign as housing minister as part of his cabinet reshuffle.

Maclean posted a statement on X formerly known as Twitter a short while ago confirming her departure.

It read: “I’ve been asked to step down from my role as housing minister. Disappointed and was looking forward to introducing the Renters Reform Bill to committee tomorrow and later the Leasehold and Freehold Bill. It has been a privilege to hold the position and I wish my successor well.”

Maclean was appointed to the role on 7 February 2023 and previously served as justice minister between 7 September and 28 October 2022.

The prime minister began a reshuffle earlier today after dismissing home secretary Suella Braverman.

Levelling up secretary Michael Gove has indicated his support for Maclean by sharing a message posted by business secretary Kemi Badenoch.

Badenoch told Maclean: “You were an excellent, minister, always attentive to MPs and their constituents and got some very tricky legislation over the line.”

The next housing minister will be the 16th person to hold the role since the 2010 general election.

Industry reactions: 

Simon Gerrard, managing director of Martyn Gerrard Estate Agents, said: “It comes as a great disappointment, but frankly little surprise, that the housing brief has yet again changed hands within this government. There will be a collective groan of ‘here we go again’ from those of us working in the property sector, and indeed anybody with a vested interest in the housing market. We’re now onto our 16th housing minister since the government came into power 13 years ago. How can any long-term progress be made on reforming our planning system, solving the housing crisis, and ensuring our children have homes to live in when we have such a shockingly high turn-over of ministers tasked with tackling these issues?

“I’m beginning to question the point of having a ministry supposedly dedicated to building new homes, when in reality, providing people with places to live clearly couldn’t be further down the list of priorities for this government. The department is frankly a joke, and it is regrettable that the punchline is that this country remains in desperate need of new homes. I hope that at some point we will actually see a housing minister remain in post for the length of time it takes for a planning application to build a new home to get through our planning system. For now, it seems, I remain hoping in vain.”


Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops, said: “After just 279 days in the role housing minister, Rachel Maclean has been sacked by the prime minister in what has become another manic Monday for the government. The timing for a new housing minister couldn’t have been worse, with Maclean due to introduce the Renters Reform Bill tomorrow, and the chancellor’s Autumn Statement less than two weeks away.

“With recent news that housebuilding has fallen to its lowest level since the financial crisis, there is mounting pressure for the government to produce a reliable and experienced figurehead to this role, and quickly. House prices are often a barometer of health of the wider economy, giving challenges as well as opportunities ahead of the next general election.

“Meanwhile, the sector remains hopeful that the chancellor can offer a sense of stability and structure on November 22nd where other departments cannot.”


Melanie Leech, chief executive of British Property Federation, commented: “The revolving door of housing ministers has turned once more. For a sector that thrives on certainty and wants to see a long-term plan for housing, such discontinuity in personnel is a significant concern and actively undermines investment and long-term commitment across the sector.

”The government is facing numerous challenges in reviving stalling housing supply, plus delivering the critical infrastructure required for future economic growth and carbon reduction. To meet those challenges, we require political stability and continuity in decision-making.

”Minister Maclean leaves with our thanks, as someone who was hard-working, engaged, and who took a deep interest in the benefits of good housing.”


Nick Sanderson, CEO of Audley Group, said: “The appointment of David Cameron to the Cabinet might garner the headlines, but it shouldn’t detract from revolving door that is the UK’s Housing Minister. Rachel Maclean being relieved of the role means we are due the 16th Housing Minister since 2010, and the seventh in just two years. The housing market needs reform, and that’s difficult to achieve without any kind of stability. Lack of in-depth knowledge about the housing market leads to knee jerk decisions to increase housing supply and focus on first time buyers, rather than holistic possibilities that increase supply and flow within the market. Let’s hope the next appointment is the last for a while so the focus can turn from personalities to real progress.”


Lawrence Turner, director of Boyer, part of Leaders Romans Group, commented: “As the new UK planning minister takes office, it is imperative that they urgently address the issue of nutrient neutrality to unlock much needed housing delivery in the country. A solution to nutrient neutrality is a crucial aspect of unlocking the estimated 150,000 homes that are delayed in the planning system. Nutrient neutrality is the single most significant block on housing development in the UK. A failure to tackle this problem is delaying the delivery of at least 45,000 much-needed affordable homes.

“The planning minister must prioritise tackling the housing crisis and delivering sustainable housing development closer to where people live and work. This means taking bold steps to address the shortage of affordable housing, as well as promoting the construction of new settlements to accommodate a growing population. Greater focus should also be placed on the sustainable release of Green Belt land, as well as the development of well-designed housing to meet the diverse needs of the population

“It is essential for the new planning minister to take decisive action in reshaping the housing landscape in the UK by working closely with local authorities, developers and local communities. By addressing nutrient neutrality and focusing on sustainable housing development, the planning minister has the opportunity to demonstrate strong leadership in balancing the needs of the community and conserving the role of the Green Belt.”


Paresh Raja, chief executive of Market Financial Solutions, added: “We are about to welcome the 16th housing minister since 2010, and while the chopping and changing of ministerial positions has become all too common across the board in recent years, the level of turnover in this particular role is a notable concern.

“Creating clear and consistent policies – let alone delivering on them – is inevitably difficult with such frequent changes in personnel, and this impacts homeowners, buyers, renters and investors alike.

”A sense of stability is important in virtually every industry, and the property sector would certainly benefit from an extended period with a single housing minister, although this is only likely after the next general election.”



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  1. Rob Hailstone

    Ludicrous, it makes the number of actors to play the role of the Doctor in Doctor Who pale into comparison, and that is fiction. Housing Minster Who?

  2. simonwilkinson73

    I had a very productive meeting with her and several MP’s in the HoC a few months ago and she was very well engaged. She was enjoying her brief and keen to deliver new housing and to address the Planning system . As the meeting was drawing to a close, she asked me finally, “What would I like her to do?” I replied ” Make decisions”.

  3. AcornsRNuts

    If David Cameron is the answer, you are asking the wrong damn question.

  4. KByfield04

    8th Housing Minster since Feb 2020- WTAF!?


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