Robert jenrick

Braverman’s brush with the law

Ah student politics: is there anything quite like it? The strange creatures it attracts, the passions it unleashes, the adolescent ambition and the glorious pettiness of it all; so vicious precisely because the stakes are so small. Such an ignoble tradition has spawned many of our lords and masters – Boris Johnson was an unabashed Union hack at Oxford while William Hague was ‘convicted of electoral malpractice’ in one election of the Oxford University Conservative Association (OUCA). And having spent some time recently in the Cambridge University archives, Mr S is delighted to see the route from the common room to the Commons is still alive and well. For perusing copies of

Sunday shows round-up: Face masks to become ‘personal choice’ after 19 July, says Robert Jenrick

Robert Jenrick – We will have to ‘learn to live with the virus’ The Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick was the government’s chief spokesman today as England edges ever closer towards the planned relaxation of Covid restrictions on 19 July. Jenrick continued to make positive noises about this date, telling Trevor Phillips that data being examined by the Prime Minister was looking promising – and suggesting that another postponement of ‘Freedom Day’ was highly unlikely. However, Jenrick’s cautious comments did not rule out the return of restrictions in the winter, should cases continue to rise: RJ: It does seem as if we can now move forward… to a much more permissive

Whitehall blows £57,000 on gender-neutral toilets

Mr S was intrigued to read in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph that public buildings will have to have separate ‘ladies’ and ‘gents’ lavatories in the future. The move – which has already infuriated campaigners who want more gender-neutral facilities –  will see building regulations and planning guidance amended to ensure separate ‘ladies’ and ‘gents’ facilities are installed in new buildings or those being developed.  Communities secretary Robert Jenrick is reported to be behind the changes which could see unisex lavatories, shared by men women, seeing the installation of partitions to ensure the privacy of occupants. A source close to Jenrick told the newspaper:  It’s a necessity for women to have access to their own provision of

Yours for £66, an official Whitehall flagpole

Flags are suddenly all the rage in British politics, with scarcely a day going by it seems without a fresh row over the Union Jack. First a leaked Labour report last month on how to win back voters was splashed on the front page of the Guardian along with its recommendations that Labour make ‘use of the flag, veterans [and] dressing smartly’ — an uncontroversial observation that triggered days of handwringing from the usual suspects.  Then there was the continued comment about ministers on Zoom with an ever-growing number of flags in the background. And just yesterday BBC stars found themselves in hot water for sniggering at Robert Jenrick’s Union Jack in the background of his

Why is Westminster unable to solve the cladding crisis?

The government was never going to come out well from Monday afternoon’s cladding debate in the House of Commons, given it has taken so long to address the crisis facing tens of thousands of leaseholders trapped in dangerous and unsellable flats or holding bills for tens of thousands of pounds. Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick stayed away entirely, leaving housing minister Chris Pincher to respond at the start and junior housing minister Eddie Hughes to do the wind-up. This gave the impression that ministers do not see this as a priority, despite it developing into a huge scandal that will blight the lives of

Why the Tories can’t back down over planning reforms

A rigid and complicated planning system has long been one of the issues holding back the UK economy. The planning reforms announced by Robert Jenrick this week are designed to bring more predictability and speed to the system. Jenrick’s document is very much a case of politics being the art of the possible. The green belt is left alone in its entirety, despite the fact that a more rational planning system would require examining whether all of the green belt is needed, and if it is all in the right place. For example, building houses around train stations in the green belt would seem a sensible move – but these

Is Boris brave enough to stand up to the Nimbys?

In the next few weeks, the government will publish planning reforms designed to simplify the system and free up land for development, I report in the magazine this week. It is by far the government’s most significant supply-side reform. One of those involved says ‘this is what the Thatcher government should have done but didn’t’. The plans would see the UK move to a zonal development system. In certain land classes, building would be actively encouraged, with a presumption in favour of development. The Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has pushed aesthetic standards, influenced by the work of the late Roger Scruton, which he believes will ensure new homes are more

Sunday shows round-up: Stay at home message is still ‘very important’, says Robert Jenrick

Robert Jenrick – Staying at home still ‘very important’ Sophy Ridge began this morning interviewing Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick. The Prime Minister will address the nation at 7pm tonight, updating the government’s Covid-19 strategy, and it is anticipated that he will outline a vision for the end of the lockdown. The official message will change from ‘stay at home’ to the more open-ended ‘stay alert’. Jenrick said that this did not mean the public should expect to see enormous changes in the near future: RJ: Staying at home will still be a very important part of our message to the public. But people will also need to go to work,