In the last two weeks, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour Leader Keir Starmer carried out reshuffles of their cabinets as MPs returned to Westminster after the summer break.
The Prime Minister’s mini-reshuffle saw Grant Shapps moved from the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) to Defence, and Claire Coutinho introduced as the sixth Energy Security Secretary since 2019. East Surrey MP since 2019, Coutinho was Rishi Sunak's special adviser and a prominent member of the Conservative Environment Network prior to entering government. We will be welcoming Coutinho in writing and will continue to build on our existing relationship with DESNZ officials.
On the Labour Party side, Angela Rayner has been appointed Shadow Levelling Up Secretary and Shadow Deputy Prime Minister. Matthew Pennycook was reappointed as Shadow Housing and Planning Minister, so we will continue to build on our strong and positive working relationship with him. Pennycook will give a keynote speech next week at our National Housing Summit and we will also meet with him at Labour Party conference.
Liz Kendall has been promoted the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary. We met Kendall in her previous role as Shadow Health Minister. We will continue to build on this positive engagement through engaging with her on welfare and homelessness topics.
Paula Barker has moved from the Shadow Homelessness and Rough Sleeping brief to a new role, Shadow Minister for Devolution and the English regions. We've built a good working relationship with Barker and we will continue to engage with her on the important role housing associations play in their local communities.
The new Shadow Homelessness and Building Safety Minister is Mike Amesbury, the MP for Weaver Vale. Previously Shadow Minister for Housing from 2020 to 2021, we have worked with Amesbury in the past and look forward to engaging with him in his new brief.