You’d think Theresa May would learn. Well, maybe you wouldn’t. But after the embarrassment of appointing Toby ‘toadmeister’ Young to the board of the new universities regulator, only to see him resign over sexist, misogynist and other loathsome tweets, you’d think she’d think to check the backgrounds of her new appointments to make sure there isn’t anything immediately obvious to make them unsuitable for the role.
But Theresa May has still appointed Dominic Raab as the new housing minister.
Only a year ago, Labour attempted to get a simple amendment added to the Housing and Planning Bill. It wasn’t an amendment you’d think would be particularly onerous or controversial, as it would have required that houses rented to human beings be ‘fit for human habitation’.
Raab voted against making it a legal requirement for housing to be fit for people to live in.
But perhaps May’s problem is less that she didn’t check his voting record as that she struggled to find any Tories who didn’t vote against making homes fit for humans to live in. As the party voting record for the amendment shows, not a single Tory MP voted to support it, while 309 Tories voted to defeat it.
Including one Theresa May.
A despicable attitude toward poorer people in rented homes is not the only blot on Raab’s record, however – assuming, of course, that you consider such things a ‘blot’.
Raab has been criticised for ‘stupid and deeply offensive’ comments about foodbank users:
He has also been dismissive or offensive toward disabled people, has called attacked feminists for their ‘obnoxious bigotry’, co-authored a book calling British workers ‘the worst idlers in the world‘ and his name was included on the list of alleged Tory ‘sex pests’ last autumn.
All things considered, Dominic Raab will fit right in on the Tory front bench – but will appall ordinary people who are aware of his background and especially those struggling on low incomes, in poor-quality housing or homeless.
As one SKWAWKBOX follower said today on Twitter in response to our article about Esther McVey’s appointment as Work & Pensions Secretary:
Every element of this reshuffle is an f-you to someone.
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