What do the Tory leadership contenders think about housing?

There has been plenty of coverage on what the Tory leadership candidates think of Brexit or what drugs they have taken, but what are their views on housing and estate agency issues?

Interestingly, all ten candidates historically opposed a letting fees ban when it was put forward by Labour for debate in 2014.

They also all opposed an amendment in the Tenants Fees Act that would have increased the fine for charging fees from £5,000 to £30,000.

So what does each potential Prime Minister’s parliamentary record show about their likely approach to housing and the agency sector?

Boris Johnson

Johnson may be the favourite to become Prime Minister, but he has said very little on housing or agency issues.

He held plenty of shadow ministerial positions pre-2010 in the business and education departments and was Mayor of London between May 2008 and May 2016 and Foreign Secretary between July 2016 and 2018, but he has never had a housing brief.

Johnson was accused of failing to fund social and affordable housing as Mayor of London

His register of interests does show he owns a rental property that provides an annual income of more than £10,000.

Michael Gove

Gove was shadow housing and planning minister between 2005 and 2007 when the Conservatives were in opposition, where he regularly spoke out against Home Information Packs. He showed his trademark enthusiasm to engage with his brief – for example, subscribing to Negotiator magazine, a nugget which the (now EYE) editor has stored away for possible future reference.

Dominic Raab

Raab has been one of the many MPs who have gone through the revolving doors of the housing minister’s office.

He held the role between January and July 2018 before becoming, briefly, Brexit Secretary. He has this  year called for ‘radical” housing reforms, including speeding up the rate of home building, scrapping Stamp Duty on homes worth less than £500,000. He is also keen on extending Right to Buy to social housing tenants.

Matt Hancock

The Health Secretary and former Culture Secretary has never held a housing brief or mentioned residential property issues in Parliament but has generally followed Government policy on issues such as the fees ban.

Sajid Javid

Javid was in charge of the Department for Communities and Local Government at the time that housing was made a cabinet issue and the department relaunched as the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. He was Secretary of State for the department between July 2016 and April 30, 2018, before he became Home Secretary.

Both these roles will  have given him experience of housing issues including Right to Rent, which falls under the auspices of the Home Office and is currently appealing a high court ruling that it is illegal.

Javid oversaw the launch of the Housing White Paper in 2017 and once said in Parliament that “young people are staring into the windows of estate agents, their faces glued to them, dreaming of renting or buying a decent home, but knowing that it is out of reach because prices have risen so high”.

He lets a house in London, earning annual rental income of more than £10,000 a year.

Jeremy Hunt

Hunt was Health Secretary and is now Foreign Secretary. He has not held a housing brief.

He has a pretty impressive property portfolio, owning a half-share of holiday house in Italy and a half-share of an office building in London.

Hunt faced criticism and a parliamentary standards investigation last year for taking six months to disclose ownership of seven apartments in Southampton through a 50% interest in Mare Pond Properties.

He later apologised and faced no further action.

Mark Harper

Harper is a former chief whip but also worked as a minister for disabled people and spoke in favour of the Government’s Universal Credit rollout, which has been blamed by some for causing arrears and making landlords avoid renting to those on benefits.

Andrea Leadsom

Leadsom has never held a housing brief but has spoken up for Government policy on Stamp Duty reform and exemptions as economic secretary to the Treasury between 2014 and 2015.

Esther McVey

McVey has spent most of her parliamentary career at the Department for Work and Pensions, most recently as Work and Pensions Secretary, where she has worked on reforming Universal Credit so that housing benefit payments can be made on behalf of tenants directly to landlords more easily.

Rory Stewart

Stewart has mainly worked in foreign, defence or rural affairs and is currently International Development Secretary. He has said that 2m new homes should be built over a five year period, and promise that if elected, he would lead the £100bn programme, which would include a mix of homes to buy and rent.

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  1. ArthurHouse02

    Doesnt matter what they say about housing or anything else, once in office any promises wont be held to account.

    How many years have we been told “By 20?? we will be build X amount of homes per year” and then it turns out to be complete balderdash!

  2. Deltic2130

    I can absolutely promise and assure you that there is one candidate who is known to be against the ludicrously stupid Section 24, and that is Andrea Leadsom. Her mother is badly affected by it and AL was (apparently) furious with Osborne when he brought it in. However, once in power and under the control of the Civil Servants and policymakers, I’d confidently expect her to completely change her tune.

  3. JacqueFlower


    Although his appearance is like a bear and blond hair, Johnson has captured the hearts of other politicians and all classes of people with his lively style. Although humorous, Johnson is righteous in the important issue and does not disappoint people when calling them according to his policies. Boris is seen to be very successful in the general election in 2010.




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