Former deputy leader of the Labour Party replaces Caroline Flint who moves to the Foreign Office

Margaret Beckett is to replace Caroline Flint as housing minister. The former deputy leader of the Labour Party is the third housing minister in the last year.

Caroline Flint is moving to the foreign office in Gordon Brown's cabinet reshuffle.

Beckett held a number of senior posts in Tony Blair's government including secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs and foreign secretary.

Liz Peace, chief executive of the BPF, welcomed the appointment: "Margaret Beckett’s experience will be vital in helping reshape the fortunes of the housing market."

“We despair at the turbulence of having such a turnover of ministers. Caroline Flint demonstrated a firm understanding of housing and planning policy but after just nine months and at a time when we need stability, we have a new minister."

HBF executive chair Stewart Baseley said: "Beckett inherits a challenging brief and one that needs a decisive Minister who will take the difficult decisions and address the issues we currently face. We look forward to working with her.”