7 Oct

New housing minister speaks of priorities

New housing minister speaks of priorities

Former foreign secretary Margaret Beckett has spoken of her priorities as she takes on the role of housing minister.

Ms Beckett, who briefly led the Labour Party following the death of John Smith in 1994, replaced Caroline Flint as the ministerial team at the Department for Communities and Local Government underwent a change of personnel in Gordon Brown's reshuffle at the end of last week.

In her first statement in the post, Ms Beckett described her main aims as "to help overcome the challenges in the housing market caused by the current global turbulence, whilst maintaining our focus on delivering the affordable homes needed to meet long-term demand".

Ms Beckett added that she was looking to support struggling mortgage payers, aspiring first-time buyers and help the homebuilding industry to recover.

Meanwhile, government intervention will be needed to enable the residential construction sector to come through the current economic situation, the executive chair of the Home Builders Federation Stewart Baseley said on Friday.

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