Rishi Sunak admitted he had ditched the government’s 300,000-a-year new homes target, and the reason? To keep grassroots supporters onside.
Back in December Rishi Sunak dropped compulsory housebuilding targets to see off an embarrassing backbench rebellion, prompting criticism he is putting party unity over the national interest.
It followed up to 100 Tory MPs threatening to back an amendment that would in effect force the government to abolish the target of building 300,000 homes a year in England.
He said: “I spent a lot of the time over the summer when I was talking to so many of our members, so many of our councillors, about our planning system and their views on it.
“What I heard, consistently, particularly from our councillors and our members, was what they didn’t want was a nationally-imposed, top down set of targets imposed telling them what to do.”
Shadow housing secretary Lisa Nandy said: “It is utterly shameful that the prime minister admits he ditched housing targets because he’s too weak to stand up to Tory members.
“That decision has pushed housebuilding off a cliff and exacerbated a housing crisis that was already causing misery for millions of families and young people, but Rishi Sunak clearly thinks that’s all OK because a few thousand Tory members are happy.
“We need a prime minister that puts our country before his party.”