Who is the new Housing Minister?

Industry Insight June 21st, 2017
Who is the new Housing Minister?

Arthur takes a look at Theresa May’s newly appointed Housing Minister Alok Sharma MP.

The property sector will be hoping that Alok Sharma will be able to bring some semblance of strength and stability to the property market, after his recent appointment as housing minister in Theresa May’s government. Sharma was appointed after Gavin Barwell lost his seat in the general election.

Sharma is a graduate of the University of Salford, gaining a BSc in Applied physics in 1988. He then went on to become a chartered accountant, working with Deloitte and other large firms on cross country mergers and acquisitions.

Since his appointment to parliament in 2010, Sharma has sat on several different financial committees, served as a PPS, sat on science and technology committees, and is currently the Conservative vice-chairman for BME communities. His appointment as Housing and Planning minister will be his most senior role thus far.

Sharma has consistently voted to try and increase investment in the United Kingdom and to try and increase the level of commerce in the country. He voted for an additional runway at Heathrow  and to increase capacity of current trains on the rail network. Sharma also campaigned for Britain to remain part of the European Union.

Sharma has no background in housing, meaning this could be an interesting learning curve for the MP. Furthermore, he has consistently voted to cut housing benefits and for the bedroom tax. It remains to be seen whether his mind will be changed as he comes to terms with the deep troubles that are currently affecting the housing market.

Sharma also maintains the dual portfolio of Housing and Planning. However, there have been six different housing ministers since 2010, so it will be interesting to see how long Sharma is able to maintain the post. For the benefit of the property market, it would great to see a housing minister, with a background in property, that understood the issues that are surrounding the industry.

For now we must wait and see…

 

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