Back to the future for Gove

By Michael Burton | 23 September 2021
  • Michael Burton

Whoever supplies letterheads to Whitehall is onto a winner. The latest plate on the door to be changed is the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) which was only named three and a half years ago.

Previously it was the Department for Communities and Local Government and if we step back into the early 2000s it was the Office for the Deputy Prime Minister and from 1997 to 2001 part of a vast department encompassing local government, transport and the regions.

Whatever its name the department was always perceived as low down the Whitehall pecking order and an early rung on the ladder for ambitious politicians with a revolving door of five secretaries of state since 2015. Until last year it had become barely more than the old 1960s ministry of housing and planning, reflected in its downgrading from a department to a ministry in January 2018.

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Whitehall MHCLG Michael Gove DLUHC Levelling up
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