Communities Secretary Greg Clark will be sacked if there is no improvement in the number of homes built in the next few years according to one of Westminster’s most respected and best informed political journalists.
Isabel Hardman, assistant editor of The Spectator, says Prime Minister David Cameron has a “new sense of mission” and is keen to take advantage of both the Conservatives’ unexpected parliamentary majority and Labour’s internal squabbles to achieve some of his party’s key goals.
Hardman, writing in The Times, says: “Some ministers have been left in no doubt that if they don’t deliver the PM’s priorities, they’ll lose their jobs.”
She says the principle applies to many but she names only one. “Greg Clark, for instance, will be sacked as Communities Secretary if he fails to get more homes built and reverse the decline in home ownership over the next few years.”
The UK saw its first fall in home ownership in a century between 2001 and 2011, according to figures from Office of National Statistics.
About 64 per cent of the 23.4m households in England and Wales were owner-occupied in 2011, which is down from 69 per cent in 2001. Rented households accounted for 36 per cent of those in England and Wales - up from 31 per cent in 2001.
And although there was a 12 per cent quarterly rise in the number of new homes registered across the UK in the second three-month period of 2015 according to the National House Building Council, in London - where the housing shortage is most acute - new home registrations fell by 16.2 per cent in the first half of the year.