Sadiq Khan slams ‘nimby’ Tory ministers after attack on housebuilding record

"The Tories are desperately trying to distract from their catastrophic housing record"

Sadiq Khan

The London Mayor has hit back at “nimby” Tory ministers and blasted government distraction tactics, as his housebuilding record came under attack ahead of Michael Gove’s new planning policy announcement today.

Sadiq Khan slammed ‘desperate’ distraction tactics used by the government today, as the Levelling Up secretary is set to publish a national planning policy framework for England, which could threaten to remove the London mayor’s powers over planning.

In the new planning rules, Michael Gove will lay out new ‘pro-building’ measures, expected to include measures that could strip councils of power over planning if they delay or deny housebuilding in their area.

The policy framework has had to be revised and pushed back due to what has been called the hardcore nimbyist wing in the Tory party who rallied against housebuilding in their suburban settings.   

The not-in-my-back-yard brigade proved a headache for getting through the measures, which Gove has had to compromise, including that councils will not have to set aside greenfield areas for housing.

Hence instead the party seems to have turned its attention onto Sadiq Khan in an attempt to redirect attention from government failed housing targets and internal disagreements.

Speaking on LBC, housing minister Lee Rowley singled out London, where he said the party had “long-standing concerns” around housebuilding and that the government would be making further announcements on this today.

On X, Sadiq Khan hit back at the attacks on his housebuilding and slammed “nimby” Tory ministers, who he accuses of regularly intervening with housebuilding in the capital.

“Oh dear.. the Tories are desperately trying to distract from their catastrophic housing record,” Khan wrote on X.

“The truth in London: -Record number of homes built, more than since the 1930s -More council homes started than since the 1970s -Labour boroughs delivering 50% more homes than Tories.”

He added: “In fact, while London has met our affordable homes target, the Govt have failed to meet their own. And completions are 20% higher in the capital than elsewhere.

“All progress we are making despite nimby Tory ministers regularly intervening to block new building in the capital.”

The government has missed its homebuilding target of 300,000 homes a year for each of the past five years since it was made a manifesto pledge.

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward, focusing on trade unions and environmental issues

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