Nandy to insist Labour housing policy is not ‘Tory-lite’

Politics

Shadow housing secretary Lisa Nandy is expected to criticise opposition from within her own party following complaints about Labour’s plans to increase homeownership if they enter government.

Ms Nandy – who will be speaking to Sky News on Wednesday morning – will unveil more of her party’s ideas at the Housing 23 summit in Manchester.

Criticisms will also be levelled at the Conservatives, alongside those in her own party who call Labour’s housebuilding plans under Sir Keir Starmer “Tory-lite”.

The shadow housing secretary’s intervention comes as Labour targets prospective homeowners before the expected election next year, and follows shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves criticising the government for not doing enough to support mortgage holders.

At the Manchester summit on Wednesday, Ms Nandy will say her party “won’t duck the challenge – of building the number of houses we need – and the right homes”.

Labour has outlined various schemes to improve the rate of house building in the UK, including more building on the green belt, reintroducing the housing targets watered down last year by the government, making it cheaper to buyout agricultural land for development and “tilting the power” in favour of first-time buyers.

Criticising some in her own ranks, the shadow housing secretary will say: “I was astonished by the reaction of some people in my own party.

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“That this is ‘Tory-lite’… to those people I say you couldn’t be more wrong… If you want people to have real resilience in their lives they need the assets that sustain them… and you need common assets, like council housing which provides a secure home for life, handed back to be used for the next generations.”

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Nandy tells Sky News UK needs to build more homes

Ms Nandy will say that “private patient capital” – long-term investment from funds like pension schemes – can help provide the cash to build.

Turning to a more typical opponent, the Labour frontbencher will say that Conservative housing ministers since 2010 have lacked “the will or imagination to take on a system that is rigged against first-time buyers”.

She will claim the government has overseen a “bricks to benefits” system where ten times more is spent on housing benefits than building new homes.

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It is not clear exactly who Ms Nandy was referencing in her own party, but it could be the likes of Ealing Central and Acton MP Rupa Huq.

Ms Huq recently celebrated the scrapping of a 26-storey tower development in her west London seat, which would have created 477 homes.

More than 2,300 objections were submitted to the project in Ealing, including from the Labour MP.

A Conservative Party spokesman said: “Labour are shamelessly planning to concrete over our green belt and take power out of the hands of local people.

“Lisa ‘Nimby’s’ hypocritical plan is to destroy the green spaces she herself lobbied to protect.”

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