David Cameron came to power with the Lib Dems in May 2010 and began the “austerity” policy. One of the first things he did was arrange for developers to rewrite planning policies in their favour. Yet Theresa May still prefers to blame Labour for her housing disasters!
“The sombre shadow of the Grenfell Tower disaster hung over Prime Minister’s questions.
The six month anniversary of the tragedy was noted by Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn, with the Labour leader saying it had shone a “light on the neglect of working class communities.”
The Labour then used all six of his questions to shine a forensic light on the Government’s record on housing.
Mr Corbyn struck a dignified, almost sorrowful tone as he listed how homelessness has risen by 50% under the Tories and rough sleeping has doubled.
“Will the Prime Minister pledge that 2018 will be the year when homelessness starts to go down?” he asked.
Theresa May ignored the question.
The Labour leader tried again. And again.
Would the Prime Minister ensure all rented homes are fit for human habitation?
Would she ensure no children would spend next Christmas in temporary accommodation?
Would the Prime Minister bring in a three-year rent cap?
You could tell Mrs May was uncomfortable as she went into full automaton mode, regurgitating her “I’m perfectly clear” and “we are clear” lines without actually saying anything of substance or even providing an answer.
The Prime Minister was stronger in her last couple of responses but she was forced to rely on the previous Labour government’s record to defend her own administration’s failure on housing.
Voters may have lingering gripes about what Tony Blair and Gordon Brown achieved but they will also know it is now seven years since they were in power.
May’s use of statistics was not so much brazen as shameful. At one point she claimed “statutory homelessness peaked under the Labour government and is down by over 50% since then.”
Yes, it peaked in 2003 but then fell every year until Labour left government in 2010. It is now rising again.
Corbyn could not resist ramping up the volume for his final question where he accused the Tories of putting the interests of private speculators and rogue landlords ahead of tenants.
Though clips of these attacks tend to play well with the faithful, he was at his most effective when asking quiet, penetrating questions.
It was not a walkover for the Labour leader but it was a return to form after an indifferent couple of weeks.
SCORE Jeremy Corbyn 2 Theresa May 1”