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Top Tories set up firm to buy back former council houses

Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond and strategist Sir Lynton Crosby - the architect of many Conservative election campaigns - have set up a property company together.

Lord Hammond of Runnymede, the former chancellor - reported to be worth some £8m - was a property developer at Castlemead Homes prior to becoming an MP in 1997. He still has a controlling interest in that company.

His new project is a for-profit organisation with Crosby involving buying former council homes now in the private sector, and leasing them to local authorities with a shortage of social housing. 

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He is known to have held talks with authorities including Barking and Dagenham in east London, which has more than 7,000 households on its waiting list.

Crosby has told The Times that Municipal Partners was set up as a “for-profit social impact business to acquire, refurbish and lease residential property” to councils.

“The business is at an early stage of development and is discussing potential projects with a number of local authorities.

“Former Chancellor Philip Hammond has been supportive of our plan for the business and has been assisting us as we roll out our model.

“We hope to conclude arrangements for him to take on the role of chairman of the company shortly and play an active part in delivering our social objectives.”

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