New housing minister revealed as Alok Sharma

Theresa May has appointed Alok Sharma as the new housing minister, replacing Gavin Barwell who lost his seat in last week’s General Election.

Sharma, who has held his seat as MP for Reading West since 2010, becomes the 15th housing minister in the past 17 years.

Speaking abouthis new position, which was one of 22 ministerial promotions unveiled by Prime Minister Theresa May today, Sharma said he was “honoured to be appointed and to work on building the homes Britain needs”.

Honoured to be appointed Minister of State for Housing & Planning to work on building the homes #Britain needs @CommunitiesUK

— Alok Sharma (@AlokSharma_RDG) June 13, 2017

He was welcomed to the department by the recently re-appointed Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, who said he would work alongside Sharma on housing issues highlighted in the government’s Housing White Paper, published earlier this year.

Sharma previously worked in corporate finance advisory with Nikko Securities and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, before moving into politics and winning the Reading West seat in 2010. He held the seat in last week’s General Election with a slightly reduced 5.6% margin over Labour candidate Olivia Bailey.

In Parliament, Sharma has served as a member of the Science and Technology Select Committee, as a parliamentary private secretary (PPS) to finance secretary Mark Hoban, and under-secretary of state in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Housing sector reaction

Geeta Nanda, CEO of Thames Valley Housing, said: “Thames Valley Housing congratulates Alok Sharma on being appointed Housing Minister. The government’s housing White Paper demonstrated a keenness to do much more to solve the housing crisis, and we look forward to working closely with him, as an MP on our doorstep in the South East, to see those measures and intentions through. ”

Commenting on the appointment, Chartered Institute of Housing chief executive Terrie Alafat said: “We’d like to congratulate Alok Sharma on his appointment. The Conservative manifesto rightly recognised that we need an ambitious long-term plan to tackle our national housing crisis. We at CIH, along with housing professionals across the country, are ready to work with Mr Sharma on developing that plan and putting it into practice.”

Welcome to @AlokSharma_RDG, new Housing and Planning Minister. We’re looking forward to working with him on build to rent. #GE2017

— BPF (@BritProp) June 13, 2017

More reaction to follow…

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