Labour ditches ‘levelling up’ title from housing department

Wednesday, Jul 10, 2024

LONDON: The words “levelling up” have been “firmly Tippexed out” of the government department responsible for housing and communities, Labour has said.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) was given that name by Boris Johnson in 2021 as the then-prime minister sought to highlight his commitment to the “levelling up” agenda.

But with a change of government has come another change of name, with the department reverting to its identity as the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

Angela Rayner, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Secretary of State in charge of the department, said on Tuesday: “A Government of public service means fixing the fundamentals to deliver for the British people.

“No more gimmicks and slogans, but the hard yards of governing in the national interest.”Jim McMahon, a minister in the department, told the BBC the old name had been “firmly Tippexed out of the department yesterday” as part of an effort to “refocus” on local government.

He added: “Why that is important for me is levelling up was only ever a slogan, it wasn’t a thing that people felt in their communities.”The change is the fourth in the department’s history, having started as the Office of theDeputy Prime Minister in 2001, before becoming the Department for Communities and Local Government in 2006, MHCLG in 2018, DLUHC in 2021 and now MHCLG once again.

Before the election, Labour figures had suggested the party would ditch the “levelling up” title if it won power, with Ms Rayner telling the Financial Times she was focused on “fundamentals” and not “a slogan”.

Former Conservative communities secretary Sajid Javid welcomed the move, tweeting: “Whether housing, social care or community cohesion, local government has a big role to play in tackling policy challenges.“A small change, but a welcome signal of intent.”