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Fact checkers slam new PM’s claims of ‘record housebuilding’

Rishi Sunak may have been Prime Minister for under a week but he has already received the Full Fact treatment.

Speaking at his first Prime Minister’s Questions last week in response to a query about protecting the green belt in homebuilding, Sunak said: “I am pleased that we had a record number of new homes built in the last year, but it is important that we build those homes in the right places.”

But research by Full Fact, a charity fighting bad information through fact checking and campaigning, has found that Sunak’s claim is not supported by the most recent figures published by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) or the Office for National Statistics. 


When approached by Full Fact, Downing Street failed to provide an official comment or explanation, instead pointing to several different house-building statistics, with figures over a range of different time periods. 

After Full Fact later asked Number 10 to confirm whether Mr Sunak’s claim had been inaccurate, the charity did not receive any further response.

The fact checkers said that according to the most recent quarterly figures on new supply, in the year ending June 2022, there were 173,520 new homes completed in England.

This is not a record—in the previous year to June, there were 181,900 new homes completed. 

John Perry, a policy advisor at the Chartered Institute of Housing, told Full Fact: “Even if you aggregate the quarterly figures, the claim doesn't stand up. Last year wasn't a bad year, but it wasn't a record year.” 

Will Moy, chief executive of Full Fact, said: “Last week, Rishi Sunak stood outside No 10 and told us he wanted to earn our trust.  “Days later he’s making unevidenced claims in Parliament.

"This is not - by anyone's definition - the way to build trust in politics. Any government minister should be able to back up what they say when they say it.

“Recent figures show a lack of faith in politics and politicians is an increasing issue for the general public. It’s time to demand truth from power - which is why we're calling on the prime minister to correct the record or explain his comments.”


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