Senior Cabinet Minister Liz Truss has called for 1m homes to be built on Green Belt land to protect against the Tories being “annihilated by the tsunami of Corbyn and Farage”.
The Treasury chief secretary took aim at the policy of protecting the land – a favourite among Conservative grassroots activists – saying: “We need to build a million homes on the London Green Belt near railway stations, and around other growing cities, specifically to allow the under 40s to be able to own their homes.
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“We should allow villages to expand by four or five houses a year without having to go through the planning system, so people can afford to live locally.”
In an interview with the Mail on Sunday’s You magazine, Truss dropped a strong hint she would run for Tory leadership after current Prime Minister Theresa May. She said: “You have to be prepared to put yourself forward because nobody else is going to.”
Theresa May has faced repeated calls to announce a date for her departure as Brexit negotiations look set to drag on until late in the year, prompting a flurry of MPs to openly admit they are considering running for the top job, including Truss’ Cabinet colleagues Esther McVey, Rory Stewart and Andrea Leadsom.
She said: “There has been a sea change in politics since the Tories last won a majority in 2015. The Conservative Party needs to wake up.
“Just doing more of what we have been doing for the past nine years is not going to win over modern Britain. We need to be bold, otherwise we will be annihilated by the tsunami of Corbyn and Farage.”
Truss’ statements come weeks after she enraged Tory advisors by accidentally revealing the wife of a former Russian senior politician and ally of Vladimir Putin paid the Tories £135,000 to have dinner with May and several other cabinet ministers – via an Instagram post.