14 Apr 2015

Michael Gove: Tories’ ‘win-win-win’ policy on housing

On the day the Conservatives launch their manifesto, the Tory chief whip tells Channel 4 News that money from council house sales will be used to build more homes and transform brownfield land.

Mr Gove told Jon Snow: “If in 2010 we’d said that we were going to be able to invest an additional £7bn in the NHS, and take a significant number of people out of income tax, and reduce the deficit by a half, then I suspect that both of your eyebrows would have hit the roof.”

Discussing Conservative spending plans, Mr Gove said: “£4.5bn will be raised by making sure that we sell the most expensive council properties when they become vacant – and that money will be used not simply to enable people who are in housing association properties to buy their homes.

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“It will also ensure that we build more affordable homes and we transform brownfield land which is currently not appropriate for building, so that we can ensure that there are even more homes which are constructed. So it’s a win-win-win policy.”

Jon Snow suggested to the Conservative chief whip that the Tory right-to-buy proposals had “the stink of social cleansing… These people are being bled out of London. They’re being pushed to places like Milton Keynes and the rest of it.”

The former education secretary replied: “I admire your passion but I’m afraid your answer is completely wrong. And also the sideswipe at Milton Keynes is entirely gratuitous – it’s a very attractive city.”