Sir Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, has clarified that his party’s potential adjustment of housebuilding targets is not driven by a desire to court Conservative voters. The party is currently mulling over the idea of revising their commitment to constructing 380,000 new homes annually in England, in favor of a promise to deliver 150,000 new council or social homes instead.
Sir Ed Davey emphasized that the party’s stance is not meant to oppose the creation of new housing in areas controlled by the Conservative Party, particularly where parliamentary and council seats are the focus of attention. Instead, his concern lies with what he referred to as “developer-led” projects that lack adequate amenities.
In a significant electoral victory in 2021, the Liberal Democrats managed to overturn a substantial 16,000-vote majority to secure the Conservative-held seat of Chesham and Amersham in a by-election. This achievement was largely attributed to the unpopularity of the housing plans put forth by Boris Johnson’s government, and the Liberal Democrats’ ability to capitalize on this sentiment played a pivotal role in their success.
The Liberal Democrats are set to deliberate on their housing policies during their party conference in Bournemouth, which is scheduled for Monday. However, the proposed shift in their position has already stirred controversy, with the Young Liberals advocating for the retention of the 380,000 homes target. Layla Moran, an MP representing Oxford West and Abingdon and a prominent frontbencher, expressed her deep understanding of young individuals striving to enter the housing market and asserted that the party’s leadership shares a common perspective on this issue.