Tory minister says build houses on greenbelt or risk Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister

Posted On: 
7th August 2018

The Government must build more houses in the countryside or risk ushering Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street, a top Tory minister has said.

Liz Truss is thought of as a Tory leadership hopeful
PA Images

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss blasted “nimbys in Britain” and called for a major overhaul of UK planning laws.

But she was attacked by a Conservative colleague who said the party would face an electoral “catastrophe” if it fails to protect the greenbelt.

WATCH Michael Gove insists he and Liz Truss are ‘best friends’ despite speech jibe

Liz Truss rebuked by Number 10 following attack on Michael Gove

Liz Truss launches attack on 'hot air' Michael Gove's war on disposable cups and plastic straws

Theresa May has vowed to fix the broken housing market - but she has proposed only minor tweaks to planning rules.

Ms Truss told the Financial Times podcast the number of Conservative opponents to development on the greenbelt was “dwindling” because supporters were beginning to understand the consequences.

“People recognise the choice is building on more greenfield sites and making sure there are enough homes or losing the election and ending up with Jeremy Corbyn, whose policy appears to be appropriating property,” she said.

“So I know which one I'd choose – it's having more homes available on the open market for people of whatever generation to afford.”

On greenfield land, she added: “I do think we need to open up more land for building, a lot more.”

And she said: “We need to make it easier to build up in cities… I quite like the Japanese system where you can build up on top of your house without having to get planning permission.”

But Tory MP Crispin Blunt - who chairs the all-party parliamentary group for the green belt in London - told the Daily Mail the Conservatives would suffer an electoral “catastrophe”  if they failed to protect it.

A report published yesterday by the Campaign to Protect Rural England showed plans for 460,000 homes have been given the green light since 2013.