The Guardian

Labour are 'builders', Tories are 'blockers', says Starmer as he promises planning reform to boost housebuilding - UK politics live

The Guardian logo The Guardian 17.05.2023 11:32:16 Andrew Sparrow
Keir Starmer will give a speech to the British Chambers of Commerce later on Wednesday.

LIVE - Updated at 09:19

Keir Starmer says his party are planning a building spree and are willing to relax planning restrictions to enable it.

Good morning. Keir Starmer has given an interview to the Times published this morning, he is doing a media round, and he is giving a speech to the British Chambers of Commerce speech this afternoon. And he has got a big message to publicise; Labour will go on a building spree, and it is willing to relax planning restrictions to do so.

This is what he will tell the BCC:

You can't be serious about raising productivity, about improving the supply-side capacity of our economy and about arresting our economic decline, without a plan for the windfarms, the laboratories, the warehouses and the homes this country so desperately needs. Mark my words: we will take on planning reform. We'll bring back local housing targets. We'll streamline the process for national infrastructure projects and commercial development and we'll remove the veto used by big landowners to stop shovels hitting the ground.

You can't be serious about raising productivity, about improving the supply-side capacity of our economy and about arresting our economic decline, without a plan for the windfarms, the laboratories, the warehouses and the homes this country so desperately needs.

Mark my words: we will take on planning reform. We'll bring back local housing targets. We'll streamline the process for national infrastructure projects and commercial development and we'll remove the veto used by big landowners to stop shovels hitting the ground.

This is what he told the Times:

[The Conservatives] have killed the dream, the aspiration of homeowning for a whole generation. It will fall to us to deal with that.

And he has summed it up with a slogan that he has pinched wholesale from a Bagehot column in the Economist last week; Labour is on the side of the builders, not the blockers. He will tell the BCC:

We choose the builders, not the blockers; the future, not the past; renewal not decline. We choose growth.

In policy terms, this is not new. Starmer has been talking about the need to build more homes, and the need for planning reform, for ages. But this has become a better issue for Labour since the government abandoned plans at the end of last year to impose mandatory housebuilding targets on councils. And Rishi Sunak's admission, in an interview last month, that he had to abandon the targets because they were too unpopular with Conservative party members, has made it easy for Labour to depict the Tories as "blockers".

I will post more from the Times interview, and the speech preview, shortly.

And the Tories are accusing Labour of hypocrisy. I will post on that shortly too.

Here is the agenda for the day.

9.40am: Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor, speaks at the British Chambers of Commerce conference.

10am: Matt Twist, the Metropolitan police's temporary assistant commissioner, and Chris Noble, chief constable of Staffordshire police and the National Police Chiefs' Council's protest lead, give evidence to the Commons home affairs committee about policing protests. At 10.45am Graham Smith, chief executive of Republic, gives evidence.

11am: MPs start voting in the election for a new chair of the Commons culture committe. The three candidates are Damian Collins, Damian Green and Dame Caroline Dinenage.

11am: Lord Frost, the former Brexit minister, gives a speech to the final day of the National Conservatism conference. At 5.45pm Lee Anderson, the Conservative party's deputy chair, is speaking.

12pm: Oliver Dowden, the deputy PM, faces Angela Rayner, the deputy Labour leader, at PMQs. Rishi Sunak is flying to Japan for the G7 summit.

3.20pm: Keir Starmer speaks at the BCC conference.

Also, at some point today Michael Gove, the levelling up secretary, is publishing the renters (reform) bill.

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mercredi 17 mai 2023 14:32:16 Categories: The Guardian

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