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Shapps leaves housing minister role

Tuesday, 4 September 2012 1:31 PM

Grant Shapps is leaving his role as housing minister to take up the position of Conservative party co-chair following a cabinet reshuffle.

David Cameron, the prime minister, handed Shapps a promotion following much speculation and he will be replacing the departing Baroness Warsi.

He will work alongside co-chair Lord Feldman of Elstree, who also shared the role with Shapps' predecessor.

Shapps became shadow housing minister in 2007, graduating up to the full ministerial role after the 2010 general election.

Grainia Long, chief executive at the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), said: "One of his greatest achievements was to push through the changes to local authority self financing, something for which CIH was instrumental in campaigning.

"Grant was able to look beyond self-financing's origins as a policy adopted by the previous Labour administration, taking the politics out of the policy and concentrating instead on the benefits to residents and communities across the country.

"I would personally like to wish Grant the very best of luck in his new position as Conservative Party co-chairman."

Shapps' tenure has not been without controversy, he came under fire last year over low figures on affordable housing starts and many of his major policy decisions have divided opinion within the housing industry.

And just this weekend he came under further fire after the activities of his family business selling software was alleged to have broken Google's rules.

However it appears this was not enough to derail a promotion and Mark Prisk has now been appointed housing minister.

The 50-year old MP, formerly in the Business Department, has been in parliament since 2001.

He has a property background, having worked for Knight Frank and then Derrick Wade & Waters.

Grainia Long said: "We are delighted to welcome Mark Prisk to housing. You have joined the industry at a time which could not be more important - housing as we have seen already this week is a fundamental driver of economic growth and we hope you will ensure that housing is upfront and central to government and economic policy.

"We face a housing crisis that needs urgent action and the role of the housing minister is crucial in addressing it."

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