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Starmer's reshuffle... It never Raynes but it pours


Say what you want about Angela Rayner but with Levelling Up the punchiest position to get reshuffled it’s a pretty strong indicator of Labour’s commitment to put development at the top of the agenda.

Politics and personnel aside – it can only be a good thing that we might soon have a government that takes our industry seriously.

The news outlets are already only really focusing on Ms Rayner and I’m not convinced this is an accident.

Labour wants us to know they’re the party committed to solving the housing crisis which is why they haven’t allowed this announcement to be overshadowed by any other changes to the more senior positions.

It’s a high-profile job, they’ve given it to a high-profile politician, and they’ve made a lovely big splash out of the announcement.

So, good news, ay?

Well… Arguably, Lisa Nandy – who previously held the role – was already a very good fit. Possibly even a better fit.

She understood the brief and how the right development and structures can benefit communities. She was pragmatic, commercially-minded and the sort of person I could imagine facilitating meaningful partnerships working with our industry.

Angela is a socialist (albeit a sensible-ish one) and I’ve not seen anything from her on the built environment apart from some misinformed comments on the Green Belt. I can’t see her working with or creating a platform for private investment into places. There’s no spare money, so that’s the only way we’re going to create proper change.

She and Keir are notoriously not cut from the same red cloth either. We can all get very excited about a pro-development Labour but it’s very likely they will quickly run into similar internal issues on this as Johnson and the Conservatives found.

I’m mindful of our old chum Harold Wilson’s famous phrase ‘a week is a long time in politics’ so I wouldn’t get too worked up just yet. Labour has got the small matter of winning an election to battle first.

I think it’s clear though that whatever the case, UK politics remains fractious on both sides of the fence and we’re not exactly in for a smooth ride.

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