The delayed unveiling of a new chief executive for the new housing super agency has led to speculation over possible problems

The Communities Department has delayed the announcement of chief executive for its new housing and regeneration super agency, leading to increasing speculation there are problems with the appointment.

The appointment, widely expected to be of current Sheffield council chief executive Sir Bob Kerslake, was initially earmarked to be made immediately after second reading of the Housing and Regeneration Bill, conducted last Tuesday.

The bill is designed to set the powers for the new body, known as the Homes and Communities Agency.

However the appointment, last week delayed until this week, has now been delayed again, with officials at the Communities Department saying the announcement will now be next week at the earliest.

A spokeswoman for the department denied there was any problem with the appointment, and said no formal date had ever been set. She said: “There is no problem. We will be making an announcement before christmas.”

The news comes as London mayor Ken Livingstone said he was in discussions with the incoming chief executive about putting the super agency under the control of the mayor for its work within the capital.

Livingstone told Building he was having a “good dialogue” with the soon-to-be-appointed chief executive about setting up different structures under the mayor’s control in London. “He’s positive about this idea. If he wasn’t I’d be doing everything I can to block his appointment.”