He replaces Robert Jenrick, who has been sacked from cabinet after two years and two months in the post.
Michael Gove now has to sort out the post-Grenfell building safety agenda, the national housing shortfall and a planning bill that appears to be falling apart and losing the government votes.
Other ministerial changes see Treasury secretary Kemi Badenoch become minister of state at the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, jointly with the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (where she is minister for equalities).
Gove is replaced as chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and minister for the Cabinet Office by Stephen Barclay.
In other moves, Liz Truss becomes foreign secretary and is succeeded as international trade secretary by Anne-Marie Trevelyan. Former foreign secretary Dominic Raab becomes Lord Chancellor, replacing Robert Buckland, who has been sacked.
The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) said that it was looking forward to working with Michael Gove. Eddie Tuttle, CIOB director of policy, external affairs and research, said: “The construction sector will be one of the most vital sectors to the UK government’s housing plans if it is to successfully build back better and level up. We would like to see quality as a priority when it comes to the development of all homes – new and retrofitted - alongside progress on the New Homes Ombudsman which the government announced plans for nearly three years ago in October 2018. It is also vital that the industry receives clarity on the Planning Bill, and its relationship with the Fire Safety Act and Building Safety Bill; particularly in relation to the government’s position on permitted development rights and ensuring they have strict quality controls should they press ahead as a key mechanism for housing delivery.
"We look forward to working with the new secretary of state to make progress on the big issues facing our industry. I am confident, though, that CIOB and our sister professional bodies, with which we work closely to develop consistent and robust positions to support the construction community, can work with the secretary to deliver on the priorities for the construction industry.”
The Local Government Association (LGA) seemed sorry to see Robert Jenrick go. LGA chairman Cllr James Jamieson said: “This has been an incredibly difficult period for councils and communities and we thank Robert Jenrick for the support he has given to local government during the pandemic. We wish him all the best in the future.”