Flint replaces Cooper as housing and planning minister in cabinet reshuffle

The property industry has lamented the departure of housing and planning minister Yvette Cooper, promoted to chief secretary of the Treasury in yesterday’s cabinet reshuffle.

Yvette Cooper

Cooper, who had been responsible for housing at the Communities department and the former Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in various guises since 2003, will be replaced by Caroline Flint.

The communities department confirmed this morning that Flint will retain the seat at cabinet given to the housing brief by Gordon Brown when he became prime minister.

Cooper’s departure comes in the midst of piloting two bills through parliament – one to reform the planning system, and other to set up a new housing and regeneration super-agency as well as a new social housing regulator.

Liz Peace, chief executive of the BPF, said: "We are sorry to see Yvette Cooper move on at such a crucial time for the industry. She has shown a great willingness to work with the industry and we hope the two major bills going through Parliament will not be affected.”

Yesterday’s reshuffle was prompted by the resignation of work and pensions secretary Peter Hain following the announcement of a police investigation into donations to his deputy leadership campaign.

Flint comes to the communities department from the Department for Work and Pensions where she was minister of state. Her promotion also follows time as junior minister at the Department of Health and the Home Office. She is Member of Parliament for the Don Valley constituency.