Last week’s reshuffle was expected, and yet managed to surprise many, with a number of high-profile departures from the Cabinet, including Sajid Javid, who quit as Chancellor of the Exchequer, just a month before he was due to deliver the next Government budget.
Esther McVey lost her job last week, having been Housing Minister for barely seven months, meaning her successor is to be the 10th person to occupy the role since the Conservatives came to power in 2010.
Christopher Pincher MP has now been confirmed as this very successor.
Christopher Pincher – a profile
Born in Walsall in 1969, Christopher Pincher has been a member of the Conservative Party since 1987. He was elected as part of the 2010 intake of MPs, having assisted former party leader Iain Duncan Smith in his 2001 leadership campaign.
Mr Pincher was a Whip in 2017, responsible for ensuring party discipline when Conservative MPs voted on legislature, before he quit his post voluntarily and referred himself to the party’s complaints procedure.
This came, following allegations in a newspaper that he had made unwanted advances at a Conservative activist in 2001. Before being appointed Housing Minister last week, Mr Pincher had been Minister of State for Europe and the Americas, after Boris Johnson entered Number 10.
Mr Pincher assumes his new role, just after a housing coalition urged the government to increase investment in housebuilding, in order to resolve the UK’s housing crisis.
Mr Pincher’s new appointment
The appointment of Mr Pincher as the new Housing Minister comes after a number of years of Ministers filling the role for barely a few months, resulting in a revolving door ministry, where office-holders could be perceived to have had insufficient time to make an impact.
Mr Pincher comes to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) with a voting record that suggests he is Eurosceptic and a supporter of gay rights, while holding a voting record that indicates he is supportive of measures to phase out secure tenancies for life.
This final voting record issue relates to occasions in Parliament in which Mr Pincher’s voting habits suggested support for tenancies to become fixed-term without the prospect of automatic renewal.
In addition, Mr Pincher consistently voted for charging a market rent or for central government to determine rent levels for high earners who rent council housing.
The Minister of State for Housing has been one of the most rapidly changing roles in recent British political history.
A number of people operating in the UK housing market will take note of Mr Pincher in the coming weeks and months, to see whether he can make a lasting impression, or if he will follow the path of his immediate predecessors.