Politics

Lucy Frazer’s promotion means the government is looking for a sixth housing minister in a year

Rishi Sunak’s cabinet reshuffle has seen housing minister Lucy Frazer moved to culture secretary after just four months in the job. Now he is searching for the 15th minister to take on the role since 2010

Lucy Frazer housing minister

Lucy Frazer's four-month spell as housing minister makes her a relative veteran in the role. Image: UK Parliament

Rishi Sunak’s cabinet reshuffle has seen Lucy Frazer moved on, leaving the government looking for a sixth housing minister in the space of 12 months.

The ‘Rishuffle’ saw Frazer replace Michelle Donelan as culture secretary with Donelan off to head up the newly named Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.

That means Frazer’s job as housing minister, which she only took over in October after Sunak was named prime minister, is now vacant.

But her 105-day stint in the job makes her something of a veteran. Five different Tory politicians held the role in 2022: Christopher Pincher, Stuart Andrew, Marcus Jones and Lee Rowley all had the role before Frazer took over.

The disruption has been a theme of the Tories’ time in charge, with 15 ministers taking on the challenge of ending the housing crisis since the party came to power in 2010.

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Some of those ministers admitted last month that the government – like successive predecessors – had not built enough homes.

That has been one of the key issues behind a housing crisis where record rents and house prices as well as rising mortgages have put homeownership out of reach for many.

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The lack of stability in the housing minister role has done little to tackle the crisis and Frazer’s departure on Tuesday attracted frustration and ridicule on social media.

David O’Leary, the chief executive of the Home Builders Federation, shared a graph plotting the tenures of the housing ministers over the last 13 years on Twitter and said: “In the future everyone will be Housing Minister for 15 minutes.”

Fellow tweeter Catriona Riddell underlined the frustration over the housing minister’s revolving door. She tweeted: “Ok – I will throw my hat into the ring for Planning & Housing Minister & I promise to stay longer than 3.5 months – they’ll have to drag me out kicking and screaming! There needs to be some stability, for goodness sake!”

Duncan Flynn quipped: “Death, taxes and a Housing Minister every few months.”

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Meanwhile, Michael Spicer summed up the frustration of those struggling to get on the housing market: “More chance of being a housing minister than there is buying a house.”

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