Sector calls for stability as Maclean leaves as part of Sunak’s reshuffle after just nine months in the post

Housing minister Rachel Maclean has been asked to step down by the prime minister as part of a cabinet reshuffle. 

When she was appointed in February, she became the 15th housing minister since the Conservatives came to power in 2010 and despite only being in office for nine months, her term was longer than that of her four immediate predecessors. 

rachel maclean

Outgoing housing minister Rachel Maclean

Maclean announced via X, formerly Twitter, that she had been asked to step down, saying it had been “a privilege” to hold the position. 

“[I am] disappointed and was looking forward to introducing the Renters Reform Bill to committee tomorrow and later the Leasehold and Freehold Bill,” said the 58-year-old MP for Redditch. 

Number 10 has yet to formally announce her sacking or her replacement and there are reports the move was opposed by Cabinet-level allies of Maclean, who was once a parliamentary private secretary to prime minister Rishi Sunak. 

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation, criticised the move, noting that “the revolving door of housing ministers has turned once more”.  

She continued: “For a sector that thrives on certainty and wants to see a long-term plan for housing, such discontinuity in personnel is a significant concern and actively undermines investment and long-term commitment across the sector.  

“The Government is facing numerous challenges in reviving stalling housing supply, plus delivering the critical infrastructure required for future economic growth and carbon reduction.  

“To meet those challenges we require political stability and continuity in decision-making.  

“Minister Maclean leaves with our thanks, as someone who was hardworking, engaged, and who took a deep interest in the benefits of good housing.” 

Mark Vlessing, chief executive of housing developer Pocket Living, said: “At a time of market stagnation, with housing delivery numbers falling off a cliff and with SME housebuilders facing a very bleak future, we have the instability of yet another housing minister appointed to the brief. What we really need is political stability and resolute focus on tackling the housing crisis and getting new homes built, not a presentational government reshuffle. With only a year to go before the likely general election there is hardly any time for a new minister to learn the brief, build the relationships, and make a meaningful difference. This is yet another deeply unhelpful distraction from the delivery of urgent planning reform this country needs to build more homes.”

Sunak’s ongoing reshuffle, which was triggered by the sacking of former Home Secretary Suella Braverman for her comments on the Metropolitan Police last week, has also seen the departure of the environment secretary. 

Therese Coffey, a minister since 2014, wrote to the prime minister to say she considered “now the right time to step back from government”.