So, just who is the housing minister?

Confusion reigns over the identity of the next housing and planning minister, following the appointment of Mark Francois MP to the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Francois, MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, was previously minister of state for the armed forces in the previous government, a post he held since October 2013. Yesterday he was appointed as minister of state for DCLG in David Cameron’s Cabinet reshuffle.

No duties attached to his ministerial role were included in the announcement of his appointment. At first, it seemed from the CLG website that Francois might be taking over from previous housing and planning minister, Brandon Lewis MP.

However, as DCLG updates it public face, it now appears that Francois and Lewis will be working together at DCLG – however their respective duties have yet to be confirmed. In the respect, then, as yet it appears that there is no housing minister as such.

Greg Clark MP was appointed a secretary of state for CLG yesterday; an appointment that seems to have gone down well in housing circles.

Many a housing professional might also have enjoyed a wry smile at the fate of former housing minister Grant Shapps MP, who went on to become a Cabinet-attending minister without portfolio and party chairman – he was demoted by the Prime Minister and sent to be a minister of state for international development.

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