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Liz Truss says Tories should build a million homes on green belt as she drops clear hint at leadership bid

Emilio Casalicchio

2 min read

Top minister Liz Truss has said the Conservatives should build one million homes on the green belt, as she all but confirmed she would stand for the party leadership.

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury said the eye-catching proposal would “allow the under 40s to own their own homes”.

But it is likely to get short shrift from the old guard in the Tory membership, which has been strongly opposed to building on green belt land.

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, Ms Truss signalled that she would throw her hat into the ring for the Tory top job when Theresa May steps down.

She said that as a woman in politics “you have to be prepared to put yourself forward because nobody else is going to”.

She argued: "There has been a sea change in politics since the Tories last won a majority in 2015. The Conservative party needs to wake up.

“Just doing more of what we have been doing for the past nine years is not going to win over modern Britain. We need to be bold, otherwise we will be annihilated by the tsunami of Corbyn and Farage.”

She said her idea for expanding urban areas was an example, arguing: “We need to build a million homes on the London green belt near railway stations, and around other growing cities, specifically to allow the under 40s to be able to own their homes.

“We should allow villages to expand by four or five houses a year without having to go through the planning system, so people can afford to live locally.”

It comes after new International Development Secretary Rory Stewart and former minister Esther McVey confirmed they will be running in the upcoming contest.

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