SEPTEMBER 15 2021 – “ROBERT JENRICK SACKED AS HOUSING SECRETARY…” [MICHAEL GOVE TAKES OVER] – JENRICK’S DEPARTURE “MUST LEAD TO A MAJOR RETHINK OF THE DEEPLY DAMAGING PLANNING BILL” [CAROLINE LUCAS MP]

 

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick has left the government as the latest casualty of Boris Johnson’s reshuffle.Robert Jenrick wearing a suit and tie: Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick urged other developers to follow Countryside’s move (Dominic Lipinski/PA) - PA Wire© PA Wire Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick urged other developers to follow Countryside’s move (Dominic Lipinski/PA) – PA Wire

Mr Jenrick’s position has been precarious for some time since he was forced last year to admit that his decision to grant planning permission to a controversial development had been unlawful.

And a centrepiece of his policy agenda was undermined at the weekend as it emerged his planning reforms were being rewritten to stave off a backbench Tory rebellion.

Announcing his dismissal on Twitter, Mr Jenrick said: “It’s been a huge privilege to serve as Secretary of State at MHCLG (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government).

“Thank you to everyone at the department for their hard work, dedication and friendship. I’m deeply proud of all we achieved. I will continue to support the prime minister and the government in every way I can.”

Mr Jenrick’s planning reforms aimed to deliver on a target of 300,000 new homes a year for England.

 

Video: Zarah Sultana MP

But they provoked fury among Tory MPs who feared a backlash from voters in leafy southern towns, after the loss of Chesham and Amersham in a June by-election in which Liberal Democrats that green areas would be concreted over.

In a major climbdown, it emerged last weekend that the government was preparing to drop plans for centrally-set mandatory building targets for councils and a zonal system under which all land would be classified for development or protection.

The Newark MP, 39, was an early supporter of Mr Johnson as Tory leader, and was rewarded with a cabinet position as housing secretary in July 2019, having served as a junior minister in the Treasury under Theresa May.

He blotted his copybook by unlawfully overruling a planning inspector to permit a development of private flats by Conservative donor Richard Desmond in a way which could have saved the developer as much as £50m.

Mr Jenrick denied any wrongdoing, but faced embarrassment when it emerged that the former Northern & Shell publisher had lobbied him at a fundraising dinner and in text messages.

Robert Jenrick

 

 

Jenrick said it had been a ’huge privilege’ to have served in the role

Michael Gove has replaced Robert Jenrick as housing secretary in Boris Johnson’s latest cabinet reshuffle.

Jenrick confirmed his sacking on Twitter, saying it had been a “huge privilege” to have served as secretary of state.

No 10 said that Gove will also take on responsibility for the union and the levelling up agenda.

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MIchael Gove has been appointed housing secretary

The move came after Johnson sacked education secretary Gavin Williamson and justice secretary Robert Buckland earlier this afternoon.

It is not yet clear if another role will be offered to Jenrick, who had been housing secretary since July 2019 when Boris Johnson won the Conservative Party leadership contest.

During his two-year tenure Jenrick was criticised as housing secretary over his unlawful decision to approve the Westferry Printworks scheme, trips to second homes during lockdown and the failure to resolve the ongoing cladding scandal.

His proposed reforms to the planning system, which included plans for mandatory local housing targets and a zonal system to classify land for development, also ran into criticism. The controversy over the proposals was also seen by many as a key factor in the Conservatives’ defeat in the Chesham and Amersham by-election in June,

Earlier today Number 10 reportedly confirmed that Johnson intended to carry out a reshuffle of cabinet posts today, with junior ministerial jobs – which would including the housing minister role currently occupied by Christopher Pincher – decided tomorrow.

Jenrick used his tweet to thanks departmental staff for their hard work, and said he was “deeply proud of all we have achieved”.

“I will continue to support the Prime Minister and the Government in every way I can,” he added.

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said departure of Jenrick as “must lead to a major rethink of the deeply damaging planning bill which, in its current form, would concrete over huge areas of countryside and deny local communities any meaningful voice in local house building”.

More to follow…

SEPTEMBER 11 2021 – GOVERNMENT U-TURN ON PLANNING REFORMS: “I HAVE REAL ISSUES WITH PROPOSED PLANNING REFORMS AND UNLESS THERE ARE SIGNIFICANT CHANGES WILL HAVE TO OPPOSE THEM IN PARLIAMENT. THE WEST OF IFIELD PLANS ARE A SALIENT REMINDER OF THAT” – HENRY SMITH – MP FOR CRAWLEY – The Ifield Society

Sept 17 2021 – TELEGRAPH

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2021/09/17/boris-johnson-new-cabinet-priti-patel-grant-shapps/?WT.mc_id=e_DM1491489&WT.tsrc=email&etype=Edi_FPM_New_SM&utmsource=email&utm_medium=Edi_FPM_New_SM20210917&utm_campaign=DM1491489