Construction firm hopes for political certainty
The boss of a construction firm has said he hopes there will soon be an end to the political uncertainty created by the hung parliament resulting from the general election.
With Theresa May's administration losing its majority, the Conservatives have been negotiating a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to secure enough votes to get at least part of their programme through parliament. However, any deal will be a limited confidence-and-supply arrangement, not a coalition like the 2010-15 partnership with the Liberal Democrats.
Speaking about the uncertainty this involves - even with the DUP on side, the government will only have a working majority of 13 - Greg Hill, the deputy chief executive at house builder Hill, warned that the situation could hit construction sector confidence.
He said: "No business likes uncertainty and housebuilders like it least of all.
"This hung parliament and the horse-trading that will take place over housing policy to get a coalition in place means that many housebuilders will hit the pause button on their investment decisions.
"This is the exact wrong moment for a construction slowdown. The country needs new homes desperately."
It is to be hoped, therefore, that the situation will soon be resolved in order to ensure that more homes are built, something that will also help provide more jobs for insulation fitters and others involved in various aspects of the process.
Among the changes that will affect the housing sector is the absence of Gavin Barwell, who was housing minister before the election but lost his seat. However, Sajid Javid remains in post as secretary of state for communities and local government.
The uncertainty over the political situation could also include the possibility of another general election soon. The hung parliaments of January 1910 and February 1974 both led to a second election before the end of the year, while the indecisive result of 1923 - another occasion when a new Tory leader had lost a majority after calling a snap election seeking a fresh mandate - led to a new election nine months later in 1924.