Kris Hopkins MP New Housing Minister

Kris Hopkins MP has been confirmed as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Housing and Emma Reynolds MP as his opposite number.

The cabinet reshuffle saw Mark Prisk sacked as Housing Minister to make way for a “younger generation”. Yet at 50 Hopkins is just one year younger than Prisk, 51.

Although welcoming Hopkins’ appointment, the National Landlords Association (NLA) is concerned about what appears to be a demotion for the housing brief within the Government.

Richard Lambert, chief executive officer of the NLA, said: “The NLA is pleased to welcome Kris Hopkins as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Housing. We hope the incoming minister will take a proactive and holistic approach to addressing the issues facing the housing sector exacerbated by the shortage of housing supply.

“However, it is extremely disappointing to see the coalition reduce the significance of housing within Government. Given the significant challenges facing households throughout the country it is essential that housing takes centre stage in political debate.

“We hope the apparent demotion of the housing portfolio from Minister of State to Under-Secretary of State does not reflect a change in priorities from the Government ahead of the General Election in 2015.

“Conversely we are pleased to hear that shadow minister Emma Reynolds MP will be attending the shadow cabinet. This is an appropriate acknowledgement of the significance of housing within the political debate and its importance to both providers or accommodation and those hard-working households which rely on them for their homes.

“I also wish to take this opportunity to bid farewell and to thank the out-going minister, Mark Prisk MP and shadow minister Jack Dromey MP. Both have taken a balanced and practical approach to the UK’s housing issues and acknowledged the important role that private landlords play in the provision of housing.”