‘Couldn’t accommodate the Welsh rugby team’: UK Government hits back at Labour over planning record
The UK Government have hit back at Labour after criticism of their planning reforms, saying that the Welsh Government have built so few council houses they “could barely accommodate a Welsh rugby team”.
The Minister of State for Housing, Christopher Pincher, was responding to criticism of the UK Government’s planning policies by Labour MP Steve Reed.
His comments follow the party’s loss in Chesham and Amersham in which local objection to HS2 and the UK Government’s willingness to push changes to the planning system, which could see more homes being built in rural areas, were credited with the defeat.
Labour MP Steve Reed warned that the UK Government “would reap a political whirlwind if they went ahead with their plans to silence communities and hand control over planning to developers”.
The UK Government however responded by criticising Labour’s own record on planning in Wales.
Speaking in the House of Commons, minister Christopher Pincher said that “in Labour-run Wales, so few council homes are being built that they could barely accommodate a Welsh rugby team”.
“In truth—Labour Members do not like this truth; they cannot handle it—Labour does not like people to own their own homes. Labour Members do not want people, especially young people, to get on the property ladder,” he said.
“They do not like aspiration, they do not like capitalism, and they do not want our people to aspire to or to be capitalists.”
The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government also criticised Labour’s record in Wales.
“Those of us who see what Labour is doing today see how damaging and feeble their policies are. If we look at Wales, we see that, despite the rhetoric we heard today, the Labour party is developing 12 council houses—for the whole of Wales,” he said.
Independent Carmarthen West MP Jonathan Edwards also weighed in to note that “I cannot profess knowledge of the situation in England, but Wales is very much pro-development biased toward developers. ”
The Welsh Government said in May’s Senedd manifesto that they had invested £2bn in housing over the last five years and delivered a promise to build 20,000 affordable homes across Wales
They promised that in the new Senedd term they would build a further 20,000 new, low carbon social homes for rent.