Javid to take over housing responsibilities after New Year reshuffle

Communities secretary Sajid Javid has held his position in the cabinet following today’s reshuffle, but has been given more responsibility over housing.

In an unexpected move from prime minister Theresa May, Javid has officially become secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, suggesting he will have greater authority over housing policy.

Previously, housing fell under the department’s remit, but was the responsibility of Alok Sharma, the housing minister. It is not clear whether Sharma will stay on in his current position.

May has also handed social care responsibilities over to Jeremy Hunt, who will now be Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

Hunt was strongly tipped to become the next first minister – a position which was left vacant after Damian Green was sacked by the prime minister over claims he had breached ministerial code because of pornography reportedly found on his parliamentary computer.

The name change has been met positively by some, with the suggestion that it could signal a closer relationship between health and social care, a move that has been encouraged by both health and local government leaders for a number of years.

Education secretary Justine Greening could be about to lose her role in a major reshuffle of May’s cabinet.

The former transport and international development secretary is rumoured to be in danger as the government looks to shake up its approach to schools.

A dispute between Greening and May over plans to develop new grammar schools has been highlighted as one of the reasons for the split, after the secretary is thought to have been in the way of plans to increase the number of selective schools in the UK.

She replaced Nicky Morgan as education secretary in July last year following David Cameron’s resignation.

In addition to her responsibilities in the education department, Greening is minister for women and equalities – a position within the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport which she also took over from Morgan - though it is not clear whether she will retain that role.

In a relatively short but busy career, Greening started work as an MP in 2005 before becoming economic secretary to the treasury, secretary of state for transport, and secretary of state for International Development.

The government has recently confirmed that one of May’s key advisors Amber Rudd will keep her job as home secretary.

However, Marcus Jones has been removed from his position as communities minister to be named vice chair of local government for the Conservative Party.

 More to follow…

Top image: David Merzoeff PA Wire

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