The acting permanent secretary at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will stay on as head of the department, it has been announced.
Jeremy Pocklington, director general for housing at MHCLG, has been acting perm sec since Melanie Dawes left the civil service to head up Ofcom in February. His role has changed with permanent effect.
He has held a number of director general posts in government, heading up the markets and infrastructure group at the then-Department of Energy and Climate Change and later becoming energy and security DG in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. He joined MHCLG in August 2018.
Before he became a director general in 2015, most of Pocklington’s civil service career was spent in the Treasury, which he joined in 1997 after obtaining a master’s in economics and social history. In his last post there, he was director of the enterprise and growth unit, which was responsible for policies on growth, business and infrastructure and for advising on public spending for several departments.
Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said Pocklington’s appointment as perm sec was “excellent news for the department and the government”.
"He is a highly talented and dedicated senior civil servant who has been a great support to me since I became secretary of state and most recently as we work intensively to respond to Covid,” Jenrick said.
MHCLG has played an integral role in the government’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak. Earlier this month the ministry announced it was setting up a taskforce to help coordinate the local response to the outbreak, including tabletop exercises to assess preparedness around the country.
It also has organised food parcels to be delivered to people most at risk from coronavirus, the first of which were sent out at the weekend.
Pocklington said: “It’s an honour to be leading the department as we respond to the nation’s current challenges and support those who need our help most.
“MHCLG has a critically important agenda to level up all parts of our country, support local government and deliver the homes the country needs.
“I look forward to building on the department’s welcoming and inclusive culture and working closely with all our stakeholders to deliver for the government and the public.”