Gavin Barwell MP, Minister of State for Housing & Planning, Minister for London


Gavin Barwell MP

Gavin Barwell MP is the Minister of State for Housing & Planning and the Conservative Member of Parliament for Croydon Central.

Barwell was appointed Minister of State for Housing & Planning by Theresa May in her first Cabinet re-shuffle. Barwell will serve under new Secretary of State, Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, in the Department for Communities & Local Government. He also takes on the role of Minister for London.

Gavin Barwell has held a number of Government positions, gaining his first role just a year after becoming a Member of Parliament. He was previously a senior Government Whip, serving as Comptroller of the Household, having taken over from Don Foster following the 2015 General Election. Prior to this he was previously a junior whip, serving as Lord Commissioner of the Treasury (July 2014 – May 2015); an assistant whip (October 2013 – July 2014); Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Education (September 2012 – October 2013); and Parliamentary Private Secretary to Greg Clark, when he was serving as Minister for Cities & Decentralisation (December 2011 – September 2012).

Barwell first became a Member of Parliament in 2010, holding the Croydon Central constituency for the Conservatives. The seat had previously been gained at the 2005 General Election by Andrew Pelling. Barwell held the seat at the 2015 General Election, although saw his majority fall from almost 3000 to just 165.

Prior to becoming a Member of Parliament, Barwell served as a local councillor on Croydon Borough Council. Whilst on the Council he was appointed Chief Whip of the Conservative Group and subsequently served as the Cabinet member for Resources & Customer Services and the Cabinet member for Community Safety & Cohesion, before standing down from the Council in May 2010. Prior to becoming a Member of Parliament Barwell worked in a number of roles at the Conservative Party’s central office. He graduated in natural sciences from the University of Cambridge after having attended the Trinity School of John Whitgift in Croydon.

Housing & Planning Views

Gavin Barwell has largely held the party line with regards to housing and planning since his election in 2010. On his appointment to Housing Minister Gavin Barwell said:

“Every MP will tell you that housing is one of the most common issues they deal with in their surgeries.

Too many people are having to live in overcrowded or even unsafe conditions. Too many people don’t have a permanent place to call home. Too many people are having to pay too much of their monthly earnings on their housing costs. And – as the Prime Minister said in her moving speech outside Downing Street on Wednesday night – too many people who want the independence of owning their own home currently can’t afford to do so.

I look forward to working with councils, housing associations, developers, investors and local communities to make sure we build we need with the mix of tenures that people want and that those homes should be great places to live.

And in addition to my national responsibilities for housing and the planning system, I look forward to working with Sadiq Khan and the leaders of London councils to ensure the continued success of our wonderful, diverse capital – and to make sure that all Londoners share in that success.

But whatever roles the Prime Minister asks me to undertake, my first job is still Member of Parliament for Croydon Central. I will continue to serve you to the best of my ability and try to pay back the faith you put in me just over a year ago.”


The role of Housing Minister has been expanded and will now include housing, planning policy, neighbourhood planning, lead minister on the housing bill and planning casework and London.

Theresa May has made clear that housing will be one of the most important issues during her premiership and has previously highlighted the need to build more homes and to ensure first-time buyers had a better chance of getting onto the property ladder. There was hope amongst commentators and industry stakeholders that Theresa May would promote the role of Minster of Housing to a cabinet position, whilst this has not come to fruition, the appointment of Gavin Barwell is an interesting one. The retention of Brandon Lewis would have provided some form of continuity, but instead, Prime Minister May decided to replace Gavin Lewis with Gavin Barwell, a junior minister.

Barwell is one of the most engaging MPs in the House of Commons and will dedicate much of his ministerial time in meeting with housing associations and developers in order to build an in-depth understanding of the challenges ahead.

He is very well-liked within the Conservative Party and seen by many as a safe pair of hands, an MP who will work hard to understand his brief and engage with a variety of stakeholders on any given issue. Given how close Bardwell is with Sajid Javid MP, his first ministerial role could prove to be a very fruitful one. He will be keen to meet any target with regards to housing that is set by Theresa May and Sajid Javid and has the necessary knowledge in the field of housing and planning from his former CCHQ days to deliver such ambitions.

Barwell is a very committed constituency MP and he will no-doubt base his ministerial decisions on those experiences of this own constituency.