'Dash for growth': Major Liz Truss ally risks sparking Tory civil war over house building


    One of Liz Truss’s major allies is at risk of sparking a civil war in the Conservative Party over the issue of housebuilding. Levelling up secretary Simon Clarke is expected to embark on a significant “planning reset”, which could water down environmental protections and affordable home requirements across England.

    Mr Clarke, who is one of Ms Truss’s closest allies, is expected to argue for an increase in housing developments as part of the Government’s “dash for growth”.

    According to the Guardian, Mr Clarke has drawn up plans to reduce barriers for developers in England.

    But speaking about the plans, one former minister told the paper: “If we’re really going to fix the housing crisis, then you need something that’s profoundly radical.

    “The problem is Liz probably doesn’t have a majority in parliament – so maybe this is the best they could do.”

    The minister is said to be pushing for developers in England to be given “greater flexibility on affordable housing requirements”.

    Mr Clarke has reportedly held meetings with several MPs who rebelled over previous planning reforms attempted by Boris Johnson when he was in Government.

    Mr Johnson had previously pledged “radical reform unlike anything we have seen since the Second World War”.

    But house secretary Robert Jenrick was later forced to row back on this pledge, saying: “I don’t think we need to rip up the planning system and start again”, after facing a major revolt by MPs and activists.

    READ MORE: No ‘property market crash’ on the horizon but buyers are ‘pulling out’

    But Suella Braverman accused those who spoke out against the tax cut of carrying out a “coup” against the Prime Minister.

    The mini-budget introduced a swathe of tax cuts, including cutting the basic rate of income tax from 20 to 19 percent and abolishing the 45 percent top rate of tax.

    The planned corporation tax increase, which was set to rise from 19 percent to 25 percent, will also be axed.

    Meanwhile, stamp duty will be cut for homebuyers.

    In the wake of the announcement, the pound fell to a record low against the dollar. The following Monday, borrowing costs reached their highest levels since August 2008.

    The Bank of England was then forced to intervene over a “material risk” to the UK economy, announcing it will start buying bonds in order to stabilise what it described as “dysfunctional markets”.

    This came amid growing fears of a run on pension funds, similar to that seen by Northern Rock customers at the start of the financial crisis.


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