Second day of Tory civil war breaks out after Gove speech
Michael Gove savaged over housing pledges
Housing Secretary Michael Gove found himself at the centre of a second day of Tory infighting this afternoon, after a senior Tory MP publicly slammed him on Twitter.
Jake Berry, a Cabinet Minister under Liz Truss, warned Mr Gove to spend less time opining at a central London conservative conference, and more time delivering on his promises.
Mr Gove, who has been the Secretary of State for Housing and Local Government since October, told the National Conservative Conference: “There simply aren’t enough homes in this country.”
He went on to claim Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had asked him “explicitly” to “look at” the inability of first-time buyers to get on the property ladder, adding the Government is “absolutely committed to more houses being built”.
During Mr Gove’s time in office, the Conservative Government has abolished local housing building targets, resulting in numerous councils tearing up their housing plans.
A fed-up Mr Berry publicly repudiated him, posting: “Amen to that, if only you knew someone with the power to do something about it, @michaelgove”.
A fellow ex-Cabinet Minister from Liz Truss’s Government, Simon Clarke, told the Express: “It’s really welcome to hear Michael acknowledge the extent of the problem we face. At the next election, we should commit to restoring targets to hold local authorities to account to meet their assessed local housing need.”
The blue-on-blue warfare marked the second day of frayed Conservative Party tensions after Suella Braverman spoke at the same conference yesterday and delivered a stark about immigration being too high.
Last night Tory MPs spoke to the Guardian, accusing the Home Secretary of undermining Rishi Sunak’s authority, and prioritising her own post-election leadership ambitions.
One Tory told the paper: “Rishi needs to make it clear to her that she is either a team player or a backbencher.”
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A minister added: “She’s not waiting for the election but is pitching for Prime Minister now. And she’s not the only one. Being in the Cabinet is no longer a collective endeavour but a position to pitch for the next job.
“It would be better if she and others focused on the jobs they actually had. You would think being Home Secretary was some side hustle.”
Other Tories defended the Home Secretary’s speech, however, which included a section defending white Britons from arguments by the Left they should be ashamed for their historic role in slavery.
Deputy Tory Chair told the Express: “I stand by every word said by Suella. The left fear her because she is a voice of the silent majority”.
“That’s why we call her Super Suella.”
On today’s Michael Gove row, Simon Clarke added that between now and the election, Mr Gove should “look at streamlining our planning system, resourcing it better and at creative solutions to incentivise communities to welcome new homes being built, as well as fixing the nutrient neutrality issue which is blocking up to 100,000 new homes which already have planning permission from being built.”
The National Conservative conference is running throughout today with a final day of speeches tomorrow.
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